Safeguarding News March & April 2019

Dear Colleague

Welcome to the latest safeguarding newsletter: a round up of safeguarding news for March and April 2019

STOP PRESS **** SAFEcic's  Annual Safeguarding Conference has moved from Autumn to Summer for 2019 and takes place on 12th July at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds. There are still places available, although with the brilliant line up of speakers and highly relevant subjects, it is understandable that places are going fast. Don't miss out on your opportunity to attend this event. 

Watch the Annual Safeguarding Conference explainer video here

Discover more about the event or book your place here

Check our full schedule of training dates here

World Book Day was celebrated on 7th March 2019 with authors being urged to feature characters with disabilities in their stories. Marking World Book Day, the Oscar winner Rachel ­Shenton and Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, called for more diversity in children’s books.

Each day around 40 under-5s are rushed to hospital after choking on something, or swallowing something dangerous. The NHS has useful tips on what to do if a child is chocking.

Legislation and Bills


The Gambling (Industry Levy Review and Protections for Vulnerable People) Bill 2017-19

This is a Bill to establish a review of the case for a levy on the gross revenues of gambling firms and to require that review to make recommendations on the possible uses of revenue from such a levy in connection with research on gambling addiction, protections for children and other vulnerable people at risk of being harmed by gambling, and gambling addiction clinics; and for connected purposes. Papers on this Bill are not yet published.

The UK is to introduce world first online safety laws

The Government has unveiled tough new measures to ensure the UK is the safest place in the world to be online.

            Independent regulator will be appointed to enforce stringent new standards
            Social media firms must abide by mandatory “duty of care” to protect users and could face heavy fines if they fail to deliver
            Measures are the first of their kind in the world in the fight to make the internet a safer place
            In the first online safety laws of their kind, social media companies and tech firms will be legally required to protect their users and face tough penalties if they do not comply.

England, Wales and Scotland

Charity Trustees (Time Off for Duties) Bill 2017-19 England, Wales and Scotland

This Bill was introduced under the 10 minute rule is to amend the Employment Rights Act 1996 to give charity trustees the right to time off work for the purposes of carrying out the duties of that office; and for connected purposes.

England and Wales

Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2019 England and Wales

This Act which received Royal assent on March the 15th come into immediate effect. This Act is to amend the Children Act 1989 to provide that certain proceedings under Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 are family proceedings. The change will also permit the court to make an interim care order where FGM has taken place thereby being able to protect girls who are at risk.


Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill 2019

The purpose of the Bill is to abolish the common law defence of reasonable punishment so it is no longer available in Wales to parents or those acting in loco parentis as a defence to assault or battery against a child.The defence currently applies in respect of both the criminal and civil law. Under the criminal law, it applies in respect of the common law offences of assault and battery; and under civil law, in respect of the tort of trespass against the person.The Bill is intended to support children’s rights by prohibiting the use of physical punishment, through removal of this defence. The intended effect of the Bill, together with an awareness-raising campaign and support for parents, is to bring about a further reduction in the use and tolerance of the physical punishment of children in Wales.


Parental Rights (Rapists) and Family Courts Bill 2017-19

This Bill is to remove the parental rights of fathers of children conceived through rape; to make provision for an inquiry into the handling by family courts of domestic abuse and violence against women and girls in child arrangement cases; and for connected purposes. This is a Private Members' Bill and was introduced to Parliament on Wednesday 10 April 2019 under the Ten Minute Rule.

Statutory and Non Statutory Guidance


Safeguarding in general dental practice April 3rd 2019

This document provides an overview of safeguarding to dental teams and reinforces its importance.
The dental team has a statutory duty of care to all patients which includes ensuring that safeguarding arrangements are in place.

This document reinforces the importance of safeguarding to dental teams and makes them aware of the different forms of abuse. It provides an overview of safeguarding as a whole for the dental team by:

            clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the dental team in promoting the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and adults at risk of abuse
            signposting useful safeguarding resources, including access to free training opportunities
            outlining the pathways to be followed in cases of concern
            providing guidance on training requirements

Relationships and sexuality in adult social care services 2019 (England)

This non statutory guidance published by CQC sets out how care providers should consider people's relationship and sexuality needs.

The guidance builds on our quality framework, adding further detail on issues like relationships, diversity and protecting people from harm. It covers a diverse range of often complex issues, including supporting people to form and maintain relationships, while also helping them to understand risks. It also highlights the importance of offering an environment that is welcoming to LGBT+ people, as well as looking at how to support those with physical disabilities.

The guidance was developed with the support of a number of providers and public representative bodies (Guidance for CQC inspection staff and registered adult social care providers in February 2019)

Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2018

Emma Hardy MP and Jess Phillips MP have written to all head teachers in England to raise awareness of  Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018  which was redrafted following the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual violence in schools.

The letter states:

“ In 2016 the previous Women and Equality Committee held an inquiry into sexual violence in schools. It made several recommendations about how the Department of Education should amend guidance to promote better understanding of the problem and how it should be addressed. The Government published specific Guidance in May 2018 and Keeping Children Safe in Education was amended in September 2018 to include a new section (Part 5) on dealing with peer-on-peer abuse.”

A survey conducted by Teacher Tapp has found that the level of awareness amongst teachers of the guidance, specifically on how to handle an allegation of sexual assault committed by one student upon another (regardless of whether or not it took place on school grounds), is very low.

The letter goes on to say:

“ The research found the only 28% of teachers surveyed were aware there was any guidance on peer-on peer sexual abuse and harassment. Only 23% of those surveyed had read the statutory guidance, with only 20% receiving any training.”


Child safeguarding practice review panel: terms of reference and code  of practice published April 2019

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 provides for the creation of a new Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel. The Panel is appointed by the Secretary of State for Education but is independent of Government.

The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel is responsible at a national level for identifying and overseeing the review of serious child safeguarding cases which in its view raise issues that are complex or of national importance. It became operational on 29 June 2018.

The Panel should monitor, and report on, the response and progress in implementing the impact of its recommendations and of its work. The Panel will work closely with the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care to ensure that lessons are disseminated effectively.

In addition, during the transitional period whilst local areas have yet to develop new safeguarding partnerships, it will advise Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) about:
whether LSCBs should carry out a Serious Case Review (SCR); and, the proposed approach to publishing SCRs and to the sharing of learning.

This document should be read alongside Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018

England and Wales

Child exploitation disruption toolkit April 15th 2019

This guidance describes disruption tactics for those working to safeguard children and young people under the age of 18 from sexual and criminal exploitation.

The toolkit is primarily aimed at frontline staff, including law enforcement, social care, education, housing and the voluntary sector, working to safeguard children and young people under the age of 18 from sexual and criminal exploitation.

Additionally, it is intended to help all safeguarding partners to understand and access existing legislative opportunities at their disposal and to target specific risks and threats.

The use of existing legislative powers, such as orders and injunctions, are an essential part of the safeguarding process. The toolkit aims to set out many of the tools useful for police and other safeguarding professionals to disrupt the sexual and criminal exploitation of children and young people, break the cycle of abuse and send a signal to perpetrators about the consequences of their actions.

The toolkit incorporates relevant legislation to address:

            abduction and trafficking
            sexual offences
            victim care
            unusual or harmful behaviour
            locations of specific concern

In addition, the toolkit includes best practice in information sharing and multi-agency working as well as intelligence and evidence gathering.

Worthy of note

1. Robust measures to help prosecutors bring charges against importers and sellers of child sex dolls have been unveiled

A total of 230 suspected child sex dolls – usually purchased online – have been seized by the UK Border Force and referred to police, co-ordinated by the National Crime Agency, since September 2016.

This has led children’s charities and the NCA to call for tough criminal enforcement against the obscene objects, which are manufactured in a way that enables sex acts to be performed on them.

Now the CPS has published specific legal guidance on Childlike Sex Dolls, which assists prosecutors in considering charges under the following:

Importation offences, whereby prosecutors will have to decide whether a doll has sufficient childlike qualities to render it obscene;

The Obscene Publications Act, where ‘publication’ covers the sale and distribution of the dolls;

Postal laws, which prohibit the sending of indecent or obscene articles.

Greg McGill, CPS Director of Legal Services, said: “There is a clear public interest in deterring those who sustain the market for obscene child sex dolls and the CPS would like to make clear that their sale or importation is a serious criminal offence.

“We will not hesitate to apply the law against anybody caught encouraging or indulging in this disturbing behaviour – and this guidance will aid our prosecutors to do just that.”

2. CPS strengthens guidance on child abusers caught in undercover stings. Paedophiles who think they are grooming a child for sex, but are actually communicating with an adult, will now face tougher charges.

Would-be abusers caught in undercover operations are to be prosecuted in every case for the same offence as those who meet real-life victims under new CPS guidance.

Evidence obtained by police or other activist groups will result in substantive charges of arranging or facilitating a child sex offence - provided it is of sufficient quality to secure a realistic prospect of conviction.

Previously, charging such crimes as ‘attempts’ had been an option available to prosecutors. This had raised some concern that offenders might receive overly generous discounts in their sentences where the defence pointed out in mitigation that there was no tangible victim.

3. For the first time, the National Crime Agency is engaging with children as young as four in a bid to help protect them online as the number of global child sexual abuse referrals has rocketed.

The NCA has launched the latest strand of its educational work, as the scale and severity of online child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSAE) continue to increase.

Parents, carers and teachers can use Jessie & Friends – a fun, friendly and age-appropriate education resource based on a three-episode series of animations – to help to keep 4-7s safe online.

Jessie & Friends does not depict any scenario involving an adult sexual offender; instead it establishes safe scenarios that enable children to learn to identify unhealthy behaviours.

Engaging activities, designed for classroom use, support children to recognise manipulative strategies in online chat – just like those typically used by offenders to groom children.

Crucially, Jessie & Friends helps children learn to ask a trusted adult for help whenever they feel worried.

4. Sex offenders are grooming children on Instagram more than any other online platform, a charity has found.

Police in England and Wales recorded 1,944 incidents of sexual communication with children in the six months to September 2018, the NSPCC says.

Instagram was used in 32% of the 1,317 cases where the method was recorded, Facebook in 23% and Snapchat in 14%. Instagram and Facebook said they "aggressively" fought grooming, while Snapchat said it was "unacceptable".

Sexual communication with a child became an offence in April 2017, following pressure from campaigners. In the 18 months that followed, more than 5,000 online grooming offences were recorded by police, according to data gathered by the NSPCC.

The NSPCC said 39 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales had responded to Freedom of Information requests, with only Surrey, Sussex, Northampton and City of London police failing to provide data. The NSPCC wants new laws to force social media firms to do more to protect children.

5. The mother of a young girl who became the first person to be convicted of female genital mutilation offences in England and Wales has been sentenced to eleven years imprisonment. She was also sentenced to a further term of two years, to be served consecutively, for distributing indecent photographs of children contrary to s 1(1)(b) of the Protection of Children Act 1978. Sentences for convictions on other counts were to be served concurrently.

The accused was found guilty of committing FGM in August 2017 when her daughter was three years old. The mother was born in Uganda has lived in the UK for a number of years. FGM is banned in both countries.

6. A woman who left her two children in the bath unsupervised has been convicted of manslaughter after one of them drowned.

Sarah Morris, 35, denied the charge but was convicted on 13 March following a two-week trial at Mold Crown Court.

Morris left the 13-month-old twins in a bath on 29 July 2015 at her home in Holywell, with no support whilst she made a 47-minute phone call.

When she checked on them, one of the children, Rosie, had toppled over into the water and was not breathing.

Emergency services attended and took Rosie to hospital but despite efforts to revive her she died later that evening.

Nicola Rees, of the CPS, said: “Sarah Morris left her two very young children in an extremely vulnerable position for a prolonged period.

“They were left alone without child seats or any other form of support in the water.

7. A man who forced his elderly mother to fund his drug habit has been sentenced for controlling and coercive behaviour.

Bernard Murray, 52, threatened his mother and threw a remote control at her face when she refused to give him £20. The victim in her 80s was left with a swollen eye. In another incident Murray threw a walking frame at the victim, narrowly missing her.

The alarm was only raised when the victim fell behind on her payments to her sheltered housing accommodation in Barnet – leaving her £4,000 in debt.

Today (Tuesday, 26 March) at Harrow Crown Court Murray was sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment suspended for two years for engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour in a family relationship, common assault and assault by beating between September 2018 and December 2018. He was also ordered to attend a drug rehabilitation requirement programme for six months. Murray had pleaded guilty at an earlier court hearing.

8. The Department for Education has withdrawn a controversial document about council duties to vulnerable children and young people, after Article 39 launched an application for judicial review.

The so-called ‘myth busting’ guide advised local authorities that they are legally permitted to reduce and remove support from children in long-term foster care, children who run away or go missing from home or care, children who are remanded to custody and young people who have left care and are still living with their former foster carers.

Children’s Minister Nadhim Zahawi claimed the document simply clarified council duties, but Article 39 and 49 other charities and social work experts warned last September it contained numerous inaccuracies and risked vulnerable children and care leavers losing vital support.

After correspondence with the Minister failed to elicit any agreement to correct the errors, or even a meeting to discuss our collective concerns, Article 39 instructed lawyers to begin legal proceedings.

9. Woman who posed as a doctor and targeted the elderly convicted of fraud. Kamlesh Bassi (58) has been convicted of seven counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of supplying a prescription-only medicinal product. She was found guilty following a trial at Warwick Crown Court on March 29th 2019.

Using different aliases, Bassi pretended to be a qualified medical doctor, a nurse, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, an osteopath and a chiropractor. She targeted elderly people and persuaded them to engage her services for payment, including work as a masseuse and home help.

Bassi had also supplied Naproxen to three of the victims, which were her own prescription tablets.

The sentence hearing will take place May 2019.

10. The Government is to consult on plans for a register of children not in school, saying it would enable councils to act effectively if they have concerns for a child's education.

According to the Department for Education, estimates suggest almost 60,000 children are deemed to be educated at home – “a figure that is thought to be rising by around a quarter every year”.

The DfE claimed a register of children not in school would “transform a local council’s capacity to identify and intervene where the standard of a child’s education isn’t good enough or, in the rare instances, where they are at risk of harm”.

It will also help the authorities spot young people who may be receiving a solely religious education, attending an unregistered school or not receiving an education at all, the Department added.

Under the plans, it will be parents’ responsibility to register their child if they are not being taught in a state-funded or registered independent school.

11. A child rapist who almost escaped punishment after he tricked a judge and two psychiatrists into thinking he was severely disabled has been jailed for more than 26 years.

George Stephenson, 60, pretended he could not speak, made unintelligible noises during consultations, needed to be pushed in a wheelchair by his wife, was incontinent and appeared not to be able to follow proceedings.

But when police later carried out covert surveillance, they saw he was capable of driving a camper van and they filmed him walking, eating a Burger King at a service station and filling up a can of petrol, Newcastle crown court heard.

When officers went to arrest him at his home in Sunderland, he managed to climb on to a shed roof and held them off for an hour as he brandished a piece of wood.

Footage from an officer’s body-worn camera showed him arguing with the police as they tried to talk him down.

Stephenson was jailed for 26 years and four months after he was convicted of 14 counts of rape on a girl, and admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice.

12. Children being groomed into filming themselves on webcams could be fuelling a surge in sex abuse images being found online in the UK, a watchdog has warned.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) took action last year against a record 105,000 pages that contained millions of images – an increase of one third on the previous year.

The charity, which acts as the UK’s main watchdog for online child abuse images, said every photo or video represented a victim being abused or coerced.

13. The Home Secretary is reviewing a rule where anyone with more than one conviction, no matter how minor, automatically has them disclosed to a prospective employer for the rest of their lives.

The new plan could mean minor assaults, thefts or drug possession would not automatically be disclosed to employers  by the Government disclosure and barring service.

Mr Javid believes that juvenile offenders who want to escape criminality need be given a second chance but campaigners for victims’ rights warned the plan could put the public at risk.

14. Steve Wood, Information Commisioner, reminds public and private organisations that new data protection legislation does not stop them from disclosing personal data to assist police forces or other law enforcement authorities.

It’s nearly eleven months since the UK’s new data protection legislation came into effect, giving organisations more responsibilities and giving citizens strengthened rights. In terms of data sharing the message is also one of continuity as the core considerations that existed under the previous legislation remain the same.

15. A woman, in her 80’s, bought gift cards after receiving a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC. The caller told her that there was a warrant out for her arrest due to unpaid tax dating back to the 1950’s.

In order to “settle the debt” she would need to buy £500 worth of gift cards, which can be redeemed by anyone if they have the code on the card.

Believing the call to be legitimate, the woman rushed to her local supermarket where she made the purchase.

It was only when she spotted her neighbour returning home from work that she realised she had to tell someone about the call.

Fortunately for the woman, her neighbour happens to be PC Andy Hood, an officer with West Yorkshire Police.

Based in Bradford, Andy is part of the Proceeds of Crime Team – a specialised team set up to pursue and seize the assets of anyone involved in crime.

“After speaking to my neighbour, I knew that she had fallen victim to fraudsters.” Said Andy

“The HMRC will never contact anyone out of the blue to request tax debts are paid in gift cards.”

And when the fraudsters rang back, Andy was waiting.

16. Young adults who may have less experience of the tax system should be especially vigilant against springtime refund scams, warns HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Scammers are increasingly targeting vulnerable or elderly people and those with less familiarity with the tax system, such as young adults.

During April and May, fraudsters regularly blitz taxpayers with refund scams by email or text pretending to be HMRC. Criminals do this to coincide with legitimate rebates being processed by HMRC.

They will encourage people to provide bank details, in exchange for a payment worth hundreds of pounds, on a fake government website to harvest private information and steal money. HMRC will never ask someone to provide bank details by text or email.

And the reason to remain vigilant in all aspects of safeguarding

1. A Child rapist who appeared on dark web has been jailed for 22 years. Kyle Fox, 26, from Surrey, admitted attacking the children but denied posting any of the footage. He claimed he lost a memory stick containing the abuse and someone else posted the horrific content to the dark web site which has now been taken down.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) launched an investigation and traced the suspect to his home in the UK.

The suspect’s face was not present in the abuse videos but NCA investigators were able to use specialist capabilities to piece clues together to identify him and both – unrelated – victims.

The NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, working with partners in South Korea and the United States, supported taking down the site which contained 145,000 videos of child sex abuse and had been viewed by offenders millions of times.Fox was arrested on 5 September 2018.

NCA officers seized Fox’s laptop which contained a vast amount of abuse images and videos – 29 showed the rape and indecent assault of the boy.

On 23 October 2018 at Kingston Crown Court, Fox admitted 14 charges against the boy - seven counts of rape, five of digital penetration, one of penetration with the tongue and one specimen count of multiple indecent assaults.

Fox admitted five counts against the girl - four of digital penetration and one of penetration with the tongue.

He also admitted possession of indecent images of children – 4,743 category A images or videos (the most severe), 4,263 category B and 3,995 category C.

2. A pensioner found with two million indecent images of children and a stash of illegal firearms hidden in an underground bunker has been sentenced to almost 13 years in prison.

Geoffrey Crossland, 70, pleaded guilty to five counts of possession of indecent images of children, one charge of filming an indecent image of a young girl, and 11 firearms offences at York Crown Court.

Police raided Crossland’s home in October last year and seized a large number of computers and other digital devices. More than two million indecent images of children were found on the devices, which is understood to be one of the largest hoards of indecent images ever discovered in England and Wales. Approximately 34,000 of these images were of the most serious category of offence used to classify indecent images of children. In addition, Crossland was in possession of 800 images classified as ‘extreme’ pornography. During the raid, officers also found a number of cargo containers which had been sunk into the ground beneath outbuildings to form a series of underground bunkers. The containers were used by Crossland to hide six prohibited firearms, one unlicensed shotgun, two unlicensed firearms, a quantity of prohibited lethal expanding bullets and numerous boxes of unlicensed ammunition.

3. A former youth football coach has been jailed for 13-and-a-half years for sexual offences against two young boys. He was also issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 15 years.

Stephen Turton, 56, came into contact with his first victim when he helped to run a youth football team in Salford, Greater Manchester, in the mid-1990s. He groomed the boy following football training and indecently assaulted him on many occasions in his van, in his own home and in the boy's home. He bought him alcohol and gave him quantities of cash.

He later groomed and abused his second victim, who was unconnected to the football team, indecently assaulting him on many occasions over a number of years from the late 1990s.  He would show him pornographic videos and buy him alcohol.

4. Tashan Gallagher, 31, raped a six-month-old baby girl, sexually assaulted a two-year-old baby boy and posted the horrific footage to an encrypted app.

Gallagher, of Leigh, Greater Manchester, admitted one charge of rape, four counts of sexual assault, five charges of making indecent photographs, two counts of distributing an indecent image of a child and two counts of possession of indecent images.

Sentencing Gallagher to 15 years at Bolton Crown Court today (Tuesday 5 March), HH Judge Stead said that Tashan Gallagher's "breach of trust (had been in) the vilest possible manner" and that "choosing words to describe the nature of this vile offending are wholly inadequate".

Gallagher was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and was made to sign the sex offenders register for life

In 2017 Gallagher filmed his attacks on the children four times and uploaded them to Telegram, a Russian based messaging app.

He did so because he wanted to join a private paedophile discussion group which had a condition new members must post brand new abuse images.

5. The former Deputy Superintendent of a children’s home in North Wales has been jailed for nine years after being found guilty of sexually abusing young boys in the 1970s.

Huw Meurig Jones, aged 69, from Old Colwyn, was convicted of ten offences, including buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency, following a National Crime Agency investigation.

The offences took place between 1975 and 1978, when Jones was the Deputy Superintendent at Little Acton Assessment Centre, Wrexham, and when he was a social worker in the Colwyn Bay area.

The victims, two males aged between 13 and 15 at the time of the offences, were preyed upon by Jones at the Assessment Centre and also at his home address.

Jones was convicted and sentenced yesterday (Tuesday 12 March) following a four-day trial at Mold Crown Court.

6. A former nursery manager has been sentenced for committing an online child sexual abuse offence, after a National Crime Agency investigation. Alison Whateley, aged 44, from Farnham, Surrey, was present in an internet video conferencing room when child sexual abuse was shown. On 29 August 2017 Whateley, using the username xxx, was in the online conferencing room when category A (the most serious) and category B child sexual abuse was being streamed.She also made comments about the material to other users. Investigators traced the xxx account to Whateley’s home. Whateley was arrested on 26 September 2017, suspended from work and later dismissed. There was no evidence to suggest any material was made at nurseries Whateley had worked at or that she had been in sexual contact with any children. After arrest, she was interviewed under caution and admitted using the xxx account. She also admitted having a !!! account.

7. An ex high school associate head teacher has admitted collecting more than 2,000 sexual abuse images of children and possessing class A drugs.

In October 2017 Paul Newbury, 50, was in an online video conferencing room where the live sex abuse of a 10-year-old girl was shown.

She was identified and safeguarded by authorities in the United States.

Newbury was using the username ‘north London’ which National Crime Agency investigators proved resolved to his home in Wood Green, London.

In February 2018 NCA officers arrested Newbury – who at the time was working at Acland Burghley School, Camden, London – and found drugs at his home which included 717 milligrams of cocaine.

In interview Newbury admitted possession of Cocaine, GHB, Methadrone and Crystal methamphetamine, for personal use, which he used while in the video conferencing platform. He also admitted making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

A review of his digital devices identified more than 2,000 child sexual abuse images and videos ranging from category A (the most severe) to category C.

There is no evidence to suggest he was in sexual contact with any children and no evidence to link his offending to the school which sacked him on 7 March 2018.

8. A paediatric doctor who downloaded 36 indecent images of children has been sentenced.

Ralph Harper, 31, was sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for 16 months, on Wednesday, 3 April at Snaresbrook Crown Court. He was also put on the sex offenders register and handed a sexual harm prevention order. Harper had pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs of a child at an earlier court hearing.

The images found on Harper's personal laptop were of children aged between eight and fourteen years old, and included 21 Category A moving images - the most serious kind. There were also nine Category B moving images and six Category C moving images.

Olivia Ball, from the CPS, said: "Ralph Harper broke the law by downloading illegal images of children. As a qualified junior doctor in the paediatric sphere his conduct was particularly worrying.

9. A man who sexually assaulted young boys in children's homes in the 1970s and 1980s has been jailed for eight years.

Patrick Grant, 69, was convicted of eight counts of indecent assault on three victims at Fircroft Children's Home in Surbiton, Rowan House - a Shirley Oaks Children's Home in South Norwood, and Walker House in Cardiff, South Wales.

He had been working at these residential homes at the time of the offences and was often called the 'house father'. His victims were able to identify him by his distinctive appearance, interest in playing the piano and by name.

Co-defendant Philip Collins, 73, was convicted of five counts of indecent assault on one victim with the offences taking place at Fircroft following a trial. At the time he had been working as the head of the centre and had been a part-time special police constable based at Esher police station. Collins will be sentenced on 23 April at Inner London Crown Court.

10. A former lieutenant colonel in the British Army spent thousands of pounds paying for and directing live-streamed child sexual abuse from the Philippines.

Andrew Whiddett, 70, also discussed flying to the country to commit contact child sexual abuse himself.

In conversations with one woman between September and October 2016, Whiddett made it clear he wanted to sexually abuse a child when he visited the Philippines that October.

In a 25-minute conversation with the woman on 28 September 2016 he asked if the girl will be with her and he said: “need to do more teaching” and “Look forward to touch”, “yes darling, need to open her mind” and “lots of teaching before I arrive”.

Travel records show he flew to Manila, Philippines, on 21 October 2016.

National Crime Agency investigators were able to prove that he paid this woman a total of £8,584.

He made 31 payments to her totalling £6,425 between January 2015 and January 2016.

And he made another 18 payments to her totalling £2,158 between April 2016 and July 2017.

At Croydon Crown Court, Whiddett admitted live-streaming offences and making indecent images of children.

Whiddett, who after leaving the Army was employed as a private contractor as head of security at the British Embassy in Baghdad, will be sentenced on 22 May. 

11. A fraudster has been jailed today for seven years for conning elderly and vulnerable victims out of nearly £3m in a ‘boiler room’ fraud operation.

Mohammed Tanveer, 30, led an operation which cold-called potential victims and offered them the chance to invest in corporate bonds that were supposedly only available to private investors.

Victims were persuaded to invest huge sums of money - with one losing life savings of nearly £1m.

Tanveer was convicted of money laundering offences by a jury at Southwark Crown Court. He had already been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud in relation to the ‘boiler room’ scam at an earlier trial.

And Finally

The 12 subject lines that could indicate your email is under attack. The list is published by Action Fraud.

The list shows that fraudsters are using a combination of personalisation and pressure in an attempt to deceive victims.

In many cases, the language contained in the subject line of the email mimics popular terms used in the workplace to give the illusion that an urgent response is required; the idea being that an employee is more likely to open and respond to an email from a work colleague or their boss rather than a message from a stranger.

The data has been compiled by cybersecurity company Barracuda following an analysis of 360,000 phishing emails in a three month period.

The top subject lines are based around the following key phrases:

            Follow up
            Are you available?/Are you at your desk?
            Payment Status
            Invoice Due
            Direct Deposit

How you can protect yourself:

Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details

Don’t assume an email is authentic, even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name or address). Remember criminals can spoof email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust

Every Report Matters – if you have been a victim of fraud, report it online or call 0300 123 2040.

If you would like to know more about SAFE please don’t hesitate to contact us


The SAFE Team