Leeds University professor’s child porn shame

David Sibley.
David Sibley.
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A disgraced Leeds University professor who had more than 13,000 indecent images of children on his computer has avoided being sent to jail.

A court heard David Sibley, led a distinguish academic career in geography and had edited a journal looking at how inmates adapt to the regime of prison life.

He had made a positive contribution to the lives of young people until he was arrested in March 2010. Sibley, 71, of Newton Walk, Chapel Allerton, used his credit card to access child pornography on a computer registered at his work address.

He had accessed 13,000 illegal pictures and movies of youngsters. Images featured babies and children up to the age of 10.

Sibley, a grandfather, admitted downloading the images and resigned from his university position. He pleaded guilty to 21 charges relating to possessing or making indecent images of children.

Judge Robert Bartfield gave Sibley an eight month prison term, suspended for two years. He was ordered to go on a programme to address his offending behaviour.

The judge said: “You started out in life with great achievement. You won a Fulbright scholarship in your youth and pursued a distinguished academic career, contributing a great deal in research literature and geography in which you were engaged.”

Referring to his work as a professor he said: “you have contributed a great deal to these young people in an opposite way to that which you now face in the dock.”

Describing the offence, the judge added: “They include the most depraved and bestial things. You have grandchildren of your own and I am sure the question has gone through your mind of how would it be if your grandchildren featured in those things?” Sibley was also ordered to go on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years. It is unlikely he will be able to visit family members in the USA.

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