A Restaurateur has avoided prison after being caught with more than 40,000 indecent images of children.
Paul Burrows, a former executive chef at the Highwayman Inn near Checkendon, was living at the pub when he was arrested following a police raid in October 2019.
The officers, who were acting on a tip-off, found he had downloaded more than 8,200 “category A” photographs, which depict the most serious levels of abuse, and more than 36,200 in the categories B and C.
Burrows, 57, had acquired these over many years, some showing children as young as four, and had also collected images showing the abuse of animals.
He admitted the offences when questioned and later pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images, which refers to the act of downloading, and a further count of possession.
At a hearing at Oxford Crown Court on July 1, Burrows was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 180 hours’ unpaid work plus 40 days’ rehabilitation activities.
He will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order limiting his internet access for the next decade, during which time he will be on the sex offenders’ register, and had to pay £425 in prosecution costs and victim surcharges.
Staff and trustees of the Highwayman said they knew nothing of his arrest or conviction until last week, when he suddenly departed and it is not known where he is now living.
Burrows remains an active director of The Highwayman Inn (Checkendon) Ltd, a registered company which was running the business until then.
But the trustees, who live nearby and own the freehold, say they have terminated his lease with immediate effect and will run it themselves so he will make no money from it.