Pervert PCSO who “targeted” kids at Chesterfield pool jailed for over two years

A former Derbyshire online safety police officer who filmed five children as they undressed at a Chesterfield swimming pool in a four-minute video has been jailed for 27 months.

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 4:42 pm

A judge told James Land, 43, he had “quite plainly” targeted “very young children from the ages of three to five years old” at the swimming baths.

Derby Crown Court heard today how the PCSO was arrested at Derbyshire Constabulary’s Ripley headquarters as he arrived at work on May 20 last year.

A search of his Cromford home uncovered nine devices found to contain over 1,300 indecent images and videos of children – 369 category of them the most serious category A.

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Former PCSO James Land

Police described children as young and two and three years old “visibly distressed and in pain”.

Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “You quite plainly targeted very young children aged from three to five years old, it was a swimming baths.

"That caused a great deal of distress to their families.

“You were at all times employed by Derbyshire Constabulary as a PCSO – in 2017 you were given a role in cyber crime.

The PCSO was arrested a Derbyshire Constabulary’s Ripley headquarters as he arrived at work on May 20 last year

"This was a preventative role engaging children who were suspected of committing low-level computer misuse.

"You gave safeguarding advice in online safety and it is against this backdrop that you accept that since 2002 until 2021 you have been in possession of indecent images.

"It involved category A images – there were 369 in total with a large number of moving images. This activity continued for nearly 19 years.

"There were 369 images, 140 of those were moving images – there are in this category of images of very young children in pain and distress.”

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Perverted Derbyshire police officer filmed five children as they undressed at a ...

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, described how Land recorded a four-minute video of youngsters in the communal changing areas in “various stages of undress” at a Chesterfield pool in September 2015.

The court heard one of his young victims was aged just three years old at the time and the children’s parents now feared the indecent images were now circulating on the internet for other paedophiles to view.

One of the parents said in a statement read out to the court he and his wife’s distress that videos showing the “private moment” may be accessed online would “never” leave them.

Others said they had lost all trust in using sports coaching facilities and all faith in those entrusted to protect their children.

Derby Crown Court heard Land worked in online safety for the police from 2017 in a preventative function with suspected underage computer offenders.

He also gave training for adults giving talks to children in online safety.

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, described how the PCSO was arrested a Derbyshire Constabulary’s Ripley headquarters as he arrived at work on May 20 last year.

A search of his Cromford home uncovered nine devices found to contain over 1,300 indecent images and videos of children – 369 category of them the most serious category A.

It is understood Land was downloading the material from 2018 onwards – although Ms Slater said some of the downloads went as far back as 2002.

The court heard another image found on Land’s devices showed him exposing his penis while working at Derbyshire Constabulary HQ.

Ms Slater described how another adult female victim was unaware Land had been secretly filming her until police visited her in the summer of 2021.

She was told they had uncovered seven indecent videos of her from his mobile phone.

Darren Whitehead, defending Land, said his client had offered an “unreserved apology” for what he had done and the impact on his victims.

Land, now of Abergele, Wales, admitted downloading indecent photographs of children, possessing extreme pornographic images, possessing prohibited images of children and voyeurism.

He was made subject of a ten-year sexual harm prevention order.

Deputy Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “There is no place in Derbyshire Constabulary for anyone who commits serious crimes such as this.

“We, like the communities we serve, are shocked and disgusted by Land’s actions.

“Officers from the force quickly arrested Land as soon as we became aware of his offending.

"He was then suspended at the earliest opportunity and gross misconduct proceedings are continuing now that the criminal case is concluded.

“Through those proceedings we will seek to place him on the barred list, which will prevent him from working for other police forces and within other professions.”

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