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Church minister jailed for child sex offences

|News, Sexual offences

A former church minister who downloaded thousands of indecent images of children and engaged in sexual communications with young people has been jailed for 48 months.

Hugh Graham, 60, communicated with at least two children online before a covert police operation managed to foil him.

In one message to a victim Graham, a United Reformed Church minister, referred to himself as “an open-minded perv” but said he was “not really interested in toddlers”.

In another message he advised on how to find videos and pictures on the dark web. Graham also stated: “I’m hoping you aren’t a gang of blokes trying to trap me. I could get into trouble for chatting to you lol.”

Today (Thursday, 11 February 2021) Graham was sentenced to 48 months in custody at Snaresbrook Crown Court. He was also given a sexual harm prevention order and placed on the sex offenders register.

Graham had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, possessing an extreme pornographic image, possession of prohibited images of children as well as three counts of making indecent photos of children and three counts of attempted sexual communication with a child. The offences took place between May 2018 and December 2019.

Police arrested Graham at his Camden home in December 2019 and seized two laptops, an iPhone, memory cards and a USB stick. All were found to contain illegal images. One of the laptops also showed that its user had viewed or downloaded such material since 2012.

Graham was found to have more than 35,000 illegal images of children including 781 CGI or cartoon prohibited images of children. Many of the images contained children as young as three years old and included children that were handcuffed.

Paul Addison, from the CPS, said: “Hugh Graham was a trusted and respected member of the community who thought he could hide his criminality behind a screen.

“He preyed on children for his own sexual gratification and used Grindr and the dark web to feed his addiction. Graham knew what he was doing was wrong and he will now have to accept the consequences of his actions.

"The CPS will continue to work with the police and other partners to prosecute those who fuel the sexual exploitation of children.”

Notes to editors

  • Hugh Graham (DOB: 16/11/1960) is from Camden
  • Graham was found to have 3,192 Category A images, 6,404 Category B images and 25,089 Category C images. He also had 781 CGI or cartoon prohibited images of children
  • Paul Addison is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit in CPS London North. 

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