Sentenced: Bus driver who kept indecent pictures of children in bedroom
- Credit: Met Police
A bus driver who kept indecent pictures of children in his bedroom and gave young passengers gifts has received a suspended sentence.
Police were alerted to Ronald Neill, of Chadwell Heath, in August after a parent raised concerns that her son had been given a present by a bus driver.
The 57-year-old was quickly identified and arrested on suspicion of grooming.
Enquiries revealed that whilst driving buses, Neill had asked boys for their names and offered them gifts - such as personalised football memorabilia - in exchange for taking their pictures. These were not indecent images.
When officers searched his home, officers discovered print outs of indecent images of children in his bedroom. He was charged on Tuesday, August 18 with one count of making indecent images of children, and appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on the same day.
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Officers subsequently found further images of children on his computer and mobile phone – these were graded as category A and B images, A depicting the most serious child abuse. He was then charged with three further counts of making indecent images of children.
Neill, who previously pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images of children, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Tuesday, December 1 where he was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
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He was also made the subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which outlines strict restrictions around his contact with children, and access and use of the internet.
Detective Constable Dec Wilson, from the modern slavery and child exploitation team, said: “Neill admitted to having a sexual interest in children, while working in a job that brought him into regular contact with young people.
“His buying of gifts for the boys he met on the bus was a clear sign of grooming, and I would like to thank the families who gave us information about Neill’s behaviour to support this prosecution.
“We would urge any parent or carer who is aware that their child has had recent contact with Neill, or received gifts from him, to come forward.”
You can contact the modern slavery and child exploitation team on 101 quoting Operation Foundation, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.