Ex-world karate champion has been jailed for life over sexual abuse of children


Timothy Stephens, 50, a former world karate champion, who had been teaching karate in Poole for almost 20 years, has today been sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and banned from working with children and put on the sex offenders register at Bournemouth Crown Court after pleading guilty to 43 counts of sexual offences at Bournemouth Crown Court on February 28th.

Following the sentence, Julia Woodward, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex, said: 

"Timothy Stephens' criminal acts are extensive.

"He was well known in the community for being the local karate teacher who had been three times world champion, and there is no doubt that he used this local fame to gain the confidence of many.

"From outside appearances, Stephens seemed entirely respectable and would probably not have raised any suspicions. However, the painstaking investigation led by Dorset Police revealed that the situation behind closed doors was very different. In his house, not only were there the expected old trophies and karate belts but also a number of rooms were filled from floor to ceiling with DVDs, computer hard disks and computers with pornographic material.

"Some of the material found included evidence that he was both taking and making indecent images of children. Equipment found at his house, including a telescope and a pair of glasses with a camera built-in, gave a good indication of the techniques that he had used to take indecent images of children and to commit offences of voyeurism

"This case was dealt with by our Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Unit. At a hearing in February 2012, pleas were entered to 43 offences, one charge alone relating to the possession of more than 37,000 indecent images of children.

"This case demonstrates clearly the dedication that Dorset Police and CPS Wessex RASSO Unit have when dealing with rape and sexual offences. We would like to thank all the victims in this case who came forward and were keen to support this prosecution."

Notes to editors

 - He pleaded guilty to one charge of assault by penetration, one of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act, nine of voyeurism, one of distributing indecent images of children, five of taking indecent photographs of children and three of making indecent images of children.

 - He also pleaded guilty to 23 offences of possessing level one images, five of level two, four of level three and two of level four. There were no images at level five, which is the most serious.