Beds, Herts & Bucks

LL Camps boss Tal Landsman cleared of child cruelty charge

Tal Landsman Image copyright South Bedfordshire News Agency
Image caption Tal Landsman was cleared by the jury at St Albans Crown Court

The owner of a children's activity camp has been cleared of child cruelty after indecent images of young girls were found on his colleague's phone.

Tal Landsman, 26, denied the offence of failing to report the discovery, at LL Camps in Hertfordshire, to the authorities.

The jury at St Albans Crown Court heard the defendant had planned to report the matter and cleared him.

His colleague, Ben Lewis, previously admitted possessing indecent images.

Lewis, 25, of Lullington Gardens, Borehamwood, was a co-owner of the camp in Bushey.

'Brain was polluted'

Witness Sandra Vicente told the court "I felt my brain was polluted" after she found images of naked three and four-year-old girls on Lewis's phone.

Image copyright South Bedfordshire News Agency
Image caption Ben Lewis is now awaiting sentence after admitting four charges of making or taking indecent images of children

She told the court she reported it to Mr Landsman, of Admiral Drive, Stevenage, on 1 August and he said he would sort it out and she should not tell anyone.

Ms Vicente said Lewis, who carried on working at the camp, came to her three days later with a three-year-old girl who he said he had found in the toilets and had wet herself.

At that point she reported Lewis to the police who arrested him on 5 August. LL Camps was closed by Ofsted on 6 August.

Ann Evans, for the prosecution, said the charge was brought against Mr Landsman because he "exposed children to the unnecessary risk that they would suffer harm at the hands of his co-director".

"It was his obligation for the safety of the children in his care to report Mr Lewis, to remove him from the premises, or shut the operations," she said.

In his defence Phillip Evans QC, argued Mr Landsman had met with his brother Adam Landsman and fellow director Dan Risner on 4 August to agree to report the matter to police and there was only a short period of time between the discovery on the phone and Lewis' arrest.

Lewis admitted four counts of making or taking indecent images and will be sentenced at a later date.

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