The owner of popular Torquay children’s attraction Dinosaur World has been convicted of sexual offences and put on the sex offenders’ list for 10 years.
The harbourside attraction has been boarded up after owner David Hill, 54, admitted having sadistic videos of women and 31 still images of child sex abuse in the worst category A.
Hill was also the vice chairman of the English Riviera Attractions organisation.
The business community has been shocked to learn the reason for Dinosaur World’s closure.
The interactive indoor exhibition of dinosaurs and fossils is located next to Torquay’s inner harbour.
It opened in 2010 with Hill as the manager – he took over in a management buyout in 2015.
Police raids in August 2019 found 100s of the most shocking child abuse images and sadism videos after seizing Hill’s home and office computers.
Carolyn Custerson, the chief executive officer of the English Riviera BID confirmed that Hill had informed the group that Dinosaur World was no longer trading and he was resigning his membership of the committee.
Hill, of Pilmuir Avenue, Torquay, appeared at Exeter Crown Court where Judge Timothy Rose said: “The offence you committed was extremely serious and aggravated by the fact it was committed over a length of time and that you were actively seeking out images.”
The judge put Hill on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will enables the police to monitor his internet activity for the same period.
An analysis found 31 category A images, showing adults having sex with children, and 164 less serious child abuse images.
There were also 314 movies showing adult women having sex with dogs or horses or having their breasts pierced with hypodermic needles or nails.
He was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, and ordered to undertake a sex offenders’ course during 40 days of rehabilitation activities and pay £425 costs.