Devon flying instructor had thousands of child abuse images

A leading flying instructor faces jail after admitting downloading thousands of child abuse images.

Richard Bristowe, 70, of Birchy Barton Hill, Exeter, paid criminals in the Philippines for the images of boys.

Officers raided his home and office at Exeter Airport in December 2012 and found 3,600 images or movies on his computers.

Appearing at Exeter Crown Court, Judge Phillip Wassall adjourned sentence but said it passed the "custody threshold".

Bristowe is the director of Aviation South West, which runs a flying school at Exeter. He has also run lessons from Plymouth Airport and is on the Civil Aviation Authority's heads of training group.

He admitted 12 counts of possessing indecent images of children when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court on Wednesday.

Judge Wassall said: "I cannot say how I am going to sentence you. This case plainly passes the custody threshold and it will depend on what I hear and read about you."

Miss Emily Pitts, defending, said Bristowe did not try to thwart the police investigation by withholding passwords and had not been involved in live streaming.

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