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Thatcham soldier jailed for child porn offences

William Walker

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William Walker

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A Thatcham soldier – traumatised by his role in the Bosnia war – was jailed for six months for possessing child pornography.
Reading Crown Court heard yesterday (Thursday) that 43-year old trooper Brett Walker developed a bizarre naturism fetish after being scarred by his battlefield experience.
He was caught out by his girlfriend – Martha Hayney, who because suspicious of his apparent sexual interest and decided to check his computer.
Yesterday’s sentencing follows a guilty verdict for the former Army gunner handed out in March on eight counts of making indecent photographs of children at his home between September 9, 2011 and June 6, 2013.
Jonathan Sank, prosecuting, told jurors at that trial that Walker had trawled the internet for videos depicting incest, naked children and teenage midgets.
It was during a row with his girlfriend that the images were discovered while Mr Walker had been living at the Mike Jackson House convalescent home for wounded soldiers.
When officers raided Mr Walker’s home they found he had already tried to destroy the laptop by dunking it in a bucket of water and had sent it off to his insurer to be repaired.
He told officers he had already reported the images and that he had unwittingly downloaded them from a naturist website.
Forensic examiners found 14 images of child abuse and one video of young girls naked at a naturist beauty pageant.
The jury in the case rejected his argument that an American woman and a member of an online naturist forum had sent him the images unknowingly.
Judge Alexia Durran said on passing sentence yesterday: “It is a difficult decision today.
“Undoubtedly it seems to me that you are a damaged individual as a result, at least in part, of your service in the Army and that you have become increasingly isolated.
“You know that the harm that these images cause to children becoming involved in the making of internet pornography is well known and you, Mr Walker, say you understand it.
“It is immensely damaging and the images should never have been in your possession.
“In my view your offence is so serious that neither a community order not a suspended sentence is appropriate.”
The army veteran said “please don’t send me to prison” as a judge told him his crimes were so serious they could only warrant a jail term.
Nadia Chbat speaking for the defence said that Walker had never recovered from the devastating and mental impact of serving in the Bosnian War.
According to the defence, the veteran had been unable to get a job after returning from the war zone and a serious spinal injury had left him unable to carry out basic physical tasks. He had also been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
She said: “The experiences that he endured during his post, particularly in Bosnia, have left him with significant, traumatic stress difficulties and anxiety.
“Since then he has struggled to make relationships and he clearly made inappropriate judgements in how he handled himself online, but that was part of his loneliness and isolation and he was reaching out for others.
“It’s a shameful situation he’s in and he feels it as somebody who has served his country as he has. He has had his good name taken from him as a result of offences that society and he himself are appalled by.”
Walker was jailed for six months and was handed a seven year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

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