Youth club worker jailed for child porn

A RETAINED firefighter who worked at his local youth club has been jailed after “several hundred” images of child pornography were found on his computer.

A RETAINED firefighter who worked at his local youth club has been jailed after “several hundred” images of child pornography were found on his computer.

Shaun Atkinson, who ran a computer shop in Brandon, was jailed for a year after he was found guilty of 19 charges relating to possessing indecent images of children.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Atkinson, 42, of Hillside Drive, Brandon, had shown “little empathy for his victims” with some of the images categorised in the level four grade - the second highest category by police.

Business colleagues in the town last night expressed their shock at the news, saying they always found Atkinson to be a likeable man.

John Maxim, chairman of the Brandon Business Breakfast Club where Atkinson was a member, said the group was surprised by the developments and that he had even offered his apologies when he could not attend a meeting last week as it was held on the day he was being sentenced.

“I have known him for many years and he is such a genuine guy,” said Mr Maxim. “We are all absolutely shocked as none of us had any idea he was involved in this.

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“We never had any problems with him, in fact he was a good member of the breakfast community who was always willing to help anyone out.”

Forest Heath district councillor Eddie Stewart, secretary of the breakfast club and chairman of the Breckland Youth Club, where Atkinson had once helped, said: “I found him to be a very nice bloke and though I don't know the circumstances, I can't believe what has happened.

“He was a computer man who helped a lot of people in Brandon and everyone is just so surprised.

“Years ago, he and his partner helped out at the youth club. He had a good understanding with the kids and we never had a problem although we never operated on a one-to-one basis. It is such a sick thing to do and that is why I am so shocked.”

Atkinson, who owned Taylor Made PCs in Brandon, had denied possessing indecent images of children on his computer and claimed that another member of staff or a customer could have been responsible.

A jury heard that a woman assistant at the computer shop contacted the police after discovering a list of titles relating to child pornography on an office computer.

Atkinson was found guilty of 19 charges, sent to prison for a year and ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

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