Cumbria vicar sentenced for child abuse images

  • Published

A vicar from west Cumbria who admitted downloading indecent images of children has been given a suspended jail term.

Peter Benson resigned as vicar of Brigham, Great Broughton and Broughton Moor, after police found 38 images on two computers at his vicarage.

Benson, 50, of Cockermouth, admitted 12 counts of possessing indecent images of children last November.

At Carlisle Crown Court on Wednesday he was sentenced to nine months in jail, suspended for two years.

He must also sign the sex offenders register.

'Not above law'

Sentencing him Judge Peter Hughes QC, said: "You let yourself down, also your wife, child and step-children.

"The consequences of your actions for them are incalculable."

Benson was also made the subject of a supervision order for two years.

The court heard that Benson had served in parishes including St Bridget Church in Brigham, Christ Church in Great Broughton and Columba Church in Broughton Moor.

The images involved children aged between six and 16.

Det Ch Insp Dave Banks, of Cumbria Police, said: "What this case highlights is that no individual is above the law.

"It doesn't matter who you are - if you choose to download or make images of children being abused - we will catch you and you will be brought to justice."

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