Former University of Portsmouth business lecturer avoids prison sentence despite admitting addiction to child abuse images
A FORMER University of Portsmouth lecturer acted ‘surprised’ as his warped paedophilic desires - including ogling over the rape of young children - were laid bare when he was exposed with more 7,000 abuse images.
Horndean paedophile Robert Gillard, 62, was exposed by police after downloading vile images of children being sexually tormented for 13 years, beginning in 2006 before his vile habit was ended in March last year.
The business lecturer, who also taught at the University of Chichester, admitted his ‘addiction’ to the sexual abuse of children during his sentencing at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Armed with a bag in the event of being jailed, Gillard, of Mapletree Avenue, dodged being locked up.
The defendant admitted 10 charges of making indecent photos of children.
Prosecutor Matthew Lawson said: ‘Police attended his house following an investigation. When they spoke to him he made admissions but indicated the images were on one device but after examinations it was discovered images were on several devices.
‘The defendant expressed his surprise how many images were found but accepted responsibility and showed remorse.
‘The images involved very young children including a child aged between six to eight years of age being raped.’
Gillard, of previous good character, was found with 1,394 Category A images, 912 Category B and 4,500 Category C.
He was also caught with 242 moving Category A images, 24 Category B and 29 Category C.
In total there were 7,101 disturbing child abuse images.
Defending, Imogen Nelson said Gillard had taken steps to curb his deviant ways. ‘He is immensely remorseful and disgusted at his behaviour over the years it took place,’ she said.
‘He lost sight of the impact the images would have and has now sought self-funded help with therapy and attends Stop it Now.
‘This has had a deep impact on him and he has expressed suicidal thoughts.
‘It has had a deep impact on his wife who has decided to stick by him and support his addiction.’
Recorder Sarah Vaughan-Jones spared Gillard prison, instead opting to give him a 16-month jail term suspended for two years. He was also told to take part in 35 rehabilitation days and to co-operate with a supervision requirement.
He was told to pay £340 costs and was given a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.
‘You have shown remorse and taken steps to address your offending,’ the judge said.