Jailed for nine months

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A former paediatric nurse who ran clubs for children has been jailed after being convicted of downloading child pornography.

Sean Girdlestone, 32, formerly of Loxwood Road, Rudgwick, was convicted on 11 counts of making indecent images by downloading them, and five of possessing indecent images.

He had denied all of the charges, but was unanimously convicted by a jury at Guildford Crown Court.

On January 17, Judge Neil Stewart sentenced him to nine months in jail, and made him subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for ten years.

Jurors heard that Girdlestone was arrested on September 7, 2010, by police who seized his laptop and discovered on it 710 indecent images.

The court heard that the defendant was running a breakfast and after school club called Cranfolders After School Club from a rented hut on the site of Cranleigh Infants and Junior School.

“Mr Girdlestone was a registered paediatric nurse. He took an active part in running this club for school children and employed a number of women,” said Dennis Kavanagh, prosecuting. “Prior to his arrest, he was very well regarded.”

Expert analysis of the laptop had showed that the defendant had been in the habit of visiting child porn websites and had engaged in online conversations with others about the subject.

Defending Girdlestone, Dominic Cox said his client was a hard worker and had always been involved in the caring world.