CHURCH CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATOR INSISTS PICTURES WERE FOR RESEARCH

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31 October 2011

London, U.K. – There have been many controversies that have afflicted the Catholic Church in recent years but none so damning or damaging then the ongoing sexual abuse of children at the hands of priests. That particular controversy has been the Achilles Heel of the organization, threatening at every turn to sink the whole thing and reaching the highest levels of power.benedict pope

Perhaps the biggest problem with that particular concern has been the lack of real effort by the church to investigate and try to arrest the problem, often protecting offenders rather than throwing them to the wolves. That response has little effect, either in preventing abuse or in bettering the perception of the church itself, and a new case is not going to help.

Christopher Jarvis, 49, was in charge of the church’s effort to investigate historical abuse claims in Britain but will now serve one year in jail for possessing pictures of abused children. Despite his insistence that the images were only meant for research and to prevent them from being seen by pedophiles, Jarvis was still convicted and will likely lose his position with the church, while in jail at least.

“You, of all people, were more aware than others of the massive theft of innocence and long-term damage exacted on the children whose images you downloaded for your own sexual gratification,” said the judge upon passing sentence. “It had a deep impact upon the church. In the eyes of the public you had a respectable position in the church.”kids

Jarvis also uploaded the pictures onto a social networking site, claiming that it helped him track down potential victims in need of his counsel.

Jarvis will be held in a regular prison rather than being remanded into the custody of the Catholic Church. He had apparently requested transfer to the Philippines.

“These types of things are really the worst thing that can happen to the Church. It appears that they are trying, sort of, to resolve some of these issues and get things back in track but incidents like this are not going to help one bit. There has to be a measure, a system of control, so that these types of people are able to access this material in a safe way,” said Scrape TV Religion analyst Bertram Gas. “Like anything, you need to know what it is you are looking for and dealing with but doing this type of research in your personal time, well it can cause problems. It’s also a bit of an abuse to the person himself. He really shouldn’t have to be using his personal computer for this type of work.”

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It’s believed that the Catholic Church did subsidize a portion of Jarvis’ computer, though he was not compensated for his bandwidth which was eaten up by all the downloading and uploading.

“I’m sure the church has, somewhere, a massive collection of this material just waiting to be used. They should be providing that as a tool to all these researchers so they can do their job a better without this kind of risk,” continued Gas. “The church really does need to get itself in order or this type of thing is just going to continue to happen. They really do need to take this more seriously and to help their people or they are going to eventually go down the tubes.”

Jarvis has been given an open offer to return to his counselling following his release.

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Roman Catholic church’s paedophile investigator jailed for possessing thousands of child porn images

dailymail.co.uk

By ANTHONY BOND 

Last updated at 5:05 PM on 28th October 2011

 

Paedophile: Christopher Jarvis hides his face as he arrives at Plymouth Crown Court today.The former child safeguarding officer for the Diocese of Plymouth was jailed for 12 months Paedophile: Christopher Jarvis hides his face as he arrives at Plymouth Crown Court today.The former child safeguarding officer for the Diocese of Plymouth was jailed for 12 months

A Catholic Church child safety co-ordinator who was in charge of investigating sexual abuse allegations was jailed for 12 months today for internet peadophile offences.

Christopher Jarvis, 49, a married father-of-four, investigated historic claims of child abuse, interviewing the victims when they were adults.

He was responsible for child protection at 120 churches and parish community groups for nine years.

He also, as a member of the Devon and Cornwall Multi-Agency Safeguarding Team, had access to police and social services information about victims of child abuse.

As a result of the conviction and sentencing, the Roman Catholic Church has ordered a review of child protection across the South West of England.

According to The Times, the Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Rev Christopher Budd, has asked the NSPCC to carry out the inquiry into child protection arrangements in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

The revelations that the church hired a peadophile in a key child protection role will add to the controversy surrounding the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales over its handling of sexual abuse.

At the time of his arrest in March this year, Jarvis was leading an investigation into an historic sex abuse allegation at Buckfast Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Devon. 

He was arrested after uploading images of pre-pubescent boys on to the Ning social networking website.

Police officers who traced him to his home in Plymouth, Devon, found more than 4,000 child porn images, mainly of boys aged 10 to 12, on his church-supplied computer and a memory stick when they raided the house in Penrose Road.

The court heard that 4,389 images were found on the laptop and memory stick.

The majority, 3,721, were at Level One, the lowest level for abusive images.

But there were 120 at Level Four, which includes scenes of child rape, and 12 at Level Five, which can include scenes of torture and sadism.

Jarvis, who the court heard claimed he was abused as a child, was sentenced at the city’s crown court after admitted 12 counts of making, possessing and distributing indecent images at a previous magistrates’ court hearing.

The court was told that Jarvis, who was fired as soon as he admitted his crimes to the police, has been barred from attending any Catholic services in Plymouth.

He felt ‘ostracised’ by the church since his arrest, the court was told, and had attempted to commit suicide.

Police who examined the computer after Jarvis’s arrest found that, as well as the images, he had viewed erotic content about a relationship between a nine-year-old boy and an adult man.

Diminutive and bespectacled, Jarvis hid his face with his hand from the people in the public gallery for the majority of the hearing.

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Darlow dismissed attempts by the defence to have sentence deferred to examine whether Jarvis would benefit more from psychiatric help than prison.

Judge Darlow told him that, despite appearing to his work colleagues as ‘caring, helpful and honest’, he had been ‘elective and cynical’ in downloading and distributing child porn.

‘You, of all people, were more aware than others of the massive theft of innocence and long-term damage exacted on the children whose images you downloaded for your own sexual gratification,’ he said.

‘In the circumstances, your behaviour was more elective and cynical than might otherwise have been the case.

‘It had a deep impact upon the church. In the eyes of the public you had a respectable position in the church.

‘The people who confided in you of their own misery and abuse may well themselves be shocked and horrified that the person they were speaking to was, in his personal life, downloading images of children being abused in the same way.’

The court heard that Jarvis had refused to sign a ‘covenant of care’ the church requires all convicted sex offenders to sign before they are allowed to rejoin congregations.

Defence barrister Jo Martin said: ‘He feels ostracised by the Catholic Church and that is why he had decided not to sign the covenant of care.

 

‘He has decided now that he will not go to church. The lack of forgiveness is very difficult for him to deal with as a man of faith.’

His public work persona was of a caring professional good at his job, while in his personal life he suffered from ‘low self-esteem and his sense of inadequacy’ stemming from his own abuse as a child. 

It was this, she told the court, that had led him into downloading child pornography.

In a statement, David Pond, the independent chairman of the Child Safeguarding Commission for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Plymouth, said the NSPCC carried out an independent review of child protection across the South West of England and cases Jarvis had been involved with and found no evidence that he had acted improperly in his role with the church.

‘The church is and remains absolutely committed to ensuring that a safe environment exists for all in the church and the knowledge that Jarvis was himself guilty of such offences has been a great shock to the many people who had placed their trust in him and worked with him to protect vulnerable children and adults,’ he said,

‘He was a fully qualified social worker and came to the role following a competitive recruitment process being of good character and with very good references.

‘We need to be continually vigilant and aware of the need to have reliable checks and controls in place to manage the risk to vulnerable children and adults and we will continue to review and improve our responses to all forms of abuse.’

Jarvis was jailed for 36 weeks concurrently for each of six charges of possessing indecent images of a child and five of making an indecent image of a child plus a further 16 weeks consecutively for a single charge of distributing indecent images of children.

 

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