Retired Lincolnshire NHS worker avoids jail despite child porn charges

A former NHS worker has escaped a jail sentence despite being caught with almost 1,000 child porn images on his computer.

Patrick Gladding was arrested after police raided his home near Horncastle in September 2014 and seized computer equipment.

Phil Howes, prosecuting at Lincoln Crown Court on April 12, said Gladding made admissions about what he had been looking at.

Checks on his computer subsequently revealed he had downloaded almost 1,000 pornographic images of children including 179 of the most serious type.

Gladding, 58, who at the time lived at The Cottages, Salmonby, and now lives in Fareham, Hampshire, admitted possession of 970 pornographic images of children and possession of a further four cartoon-style prohibited images of children.

He was given an eight month jail sentence suspended for two years with two years of supervision and 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and given a sexual harm prevention order.

Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told him: “The information I have on you is very helpful. It is plain that you now have an awareness of the consequences of your offending.

“You have taken responsibility for your offending and made efforts to reduce your risk by seeking counselling and help.

This matter is so serious that there has to be a custodial sentence but I can suspend it.

Michael Cranmer-Brown, defending, said Gladding has now retired from the NHS but when working made an important contribution in the area of mental health.

Mr Cranmer-Brown said: “He has given a lot to society. He bitterly regrets what he did.

“He has besmirched his good name and dragged his family through the mire.”