Church youth club worker sentenced over child porn charges

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

Indecent images discovered on laptop and mobile phone.

A CHURCH youth club volunteer has been ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register after downloading indecent images of children.

Joseph Lock, 38, of Rackfield Court, Barnstaple, had already admitted making 61 indecent photographs of a child and possessing 43 prohibited images of a child.

On Friday, North Devon Magistrates’ Court heard how Grosvenor Church leaders had tried to run a criminal record check on Lock, but it had taken some time.

Instead, they looked at his profile on a church computer and found search terms for ‘pre teen nude’ and notified the police.


You may also want to watch:


At his home address, a laptop and mobile phone were seized, and police also discovered a number of printed out stories, which although did not form part of the charges brought against Lock, featured ‘female children subject to horrific sexual abuse’.

Prosecutor Karen Ball said Lock, who was arrested on July 2 last year, told officers had no sexual interest in young children and had printed out the stories out of ‘morbid curiosity’.

Most Read

The indecent images found were ranked as category one, or ‘low level’ images of younng teens.

Laurence Overend, defending, said Lock had been a life-long member of the church and was involved, albeit in a supervisory capacity, with young people in the youth club.

“There is no suggestion that he ingratiated himself with the church to commit offences,” he said.

“When he was arrested in July last year he cooperated fully with police and gave an indication of the likely material that would be found.

“He essentailly admitted the offences when he was interviewed under caution and has had to wait a considerable amount of time to await his fate.

“These must have been a very difficult 10 months for Mr Lock.

“He has no previous convictions or previous involvement with the criminal justice system, and that his risk of re-offending is low.

“This is certainly likely to be the one and only occurrence Mr Lock comes before a criminal court.”

In sentencing, magistrate Judith Killen said the charges fell in the ‘lower’ category and made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years. Lock was also ordered to undergo a six-month community order with a requirement of supervision, register as a sex offender for five years, and pay a £60 victim surcharge.

The court also ordered that the seized laptop, mobile phone and printed stories be destroyed.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus