A business partner of England rugby star Rory Underwood was jailed for four-and-a-half years after being exposed as a paedophile who ”swapped” indecent images of children with other perverts.
Magistrate Martyn Helliwell, 49, set up a successful motivational consultancy firm with former World Cup star Underwood and Gulf War hostage John Peters.
But in November 2007 police raided the home of Helliwell, a former Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, and found nearly 1,000 indecent images of children on his computer.
They also found Helliwell had used social networking chat programs to ”swap” indecent images of children with other paedophiles before trying to erase the logged conversations.
Helliwell went to great lengths to create fake alibis for the times the internet chats took place after his arrest by having friends, colleagues and clients sign doctored statements.
He was convicted on 12 charges of making indecent images of children and four of distributing them between May, 2006, and November, 2007.
Helliwell, a magistrate in Taunton, Somerset, was also found guilty of a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice between June, 2008, and April, 2009.
Jailing him for four-and-a-half years at Bristol Crown Court Judge Martin Picton said: ”Martyn Helliwell, you are 49 years of age and of previous good character.
”Over many years you served your country faithfully and well in the Armed services.
”But there is another side to your character that you managed to hide form your family and friends.
”You are a paedophile. You acted on your perverted desires by trawling the internet looking for pictures of children.
”The images themselves by their very nature are disturbing. When you were discovered you set about trying to cover your tracks – you set out to create false alibis.”
Police specialists found email accounts used to trade images linked to the username ‘naughty shrek’, a nickname Helliwell was known to have used.
The account was linked to another two chatroom names – ”Peter Pervert” and ”Hard UK Daddy.”
Helliwell claimed the offences were committed by someone else using his computer or a virus.
He told friends and clients he was being ”wrongly investigated by police” before asking them to sign witness statements he prepared himself to provide alibis for certain dates.
Officers also discovered that Helliwell had installed a program on his computer called ”Evidence Nuker” in a bid to erase any history of the child pornography.
Judge Picton added: ”In the chatlogs you revelled in the sexual abuse of children. On many occasions you inquired to the other members of the conversation if they were in the process of sexually abusing children.
”Your behaviour had the obvious potential to encourage others to abuse children.
”On many occasions you described yourself as having ‘no limits’ in the depraved images you sought.
”I have no doubt that had the opportunity arisen you would have committed contact offences. You are possessed of a desire and an ability to commit contact offences.”
The court heard Helliwell not only used internet chatrooms and emails to contact other paedophiles, but attempted to make arrangements for phone conversations and personal contact as well.
Helliwell, of Over Stratton, Somerset, was sentenced to a four-and-a-half year custodial sentence, of which he will serve half, followed by a three year extended license.
He was also handed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) banning him from using social networking sites for life, intentionally photographing children, using software to delete information from a computer or having privacy settings.
Helliwell was also ordered to sign the sexual offences register for life and banned for life from working with children.
The court ordered that Helliwell’s desktop computer, laptop, and two external hard drives be destroyed.
Speaking after the case Detective Constable Gary Hinchley said: ”I hope that today Mr Helliwell’s conviction sends the strongest possible message to anyone who is tempted to get involved in child abuse or the trading of indecent images of children.
”We will be relentless in bringing them to justice, no matter who they are, or their position in society.”