Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 11:57 UK

Rugby ref jailed over child porn

Caernarfon Crown Court
Richard Bullock was sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court

A rugby referee has been jailed for 10 months after more than 700 indecent images of children were found on his computer.

Richard Bullock, 50, of Newbold, near Leicester, and formerly of Barmouth, Gwynedd, admitted making, possessing and distributing the pictures.

Caernarfon Crown Court heard that Bullock had also posed as a 12-year-old girl in an internet chatroom.

He was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Bullock was also disqualified from working with children indefinitely.

When questioned by police, the court heard that Bullock suggested he may have been set up by his wife or child.

'Child pornography'

But he eventually admitted making, possessing and distributing indecent images, which the prosecution said showed children aged from a few months to 13 years old.

Judge Philip Hughes said: "It's an unattractive feature of your response, having been found out, that you appear to have tried to offload the blame on to others who had access to your computer.

"The mischief this kind of offending creates is it involves the exploitation of young children.

"It encourages and fuels the demand for child pornography. Only a custodial sentence can be justified."

The court heard how Bullock had posed as a 12-year-old girl in an internet chatroom, and was then inundated with images.

Gareth Preston, prosecuting, said Bullock twice e-mailed a picture of a naked child to someone.

John Wyn Williams, for Bullock, said his client was a high-profile referee, and had held a responsible post with HSBC but had since resigned.

Mr Williams said Bullock married in November 2006, but the marriage was "doomed to failure."

When he bought a house in Barmouth he lost his social circle and became depressed. He drank too much and offended.

"It's very difficult for him to explain why he did it. It may be he was going through a crisis in his life. He's extremely sorry," said Mr Williams.

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