Child Porn Vicar Who LED Depraved Double Life Locked up for 12
By by Gary Stewart
|Rev Ian Hughes leaves
Liverpool Crown Court.
Judge tells Rev Ian Hughes his "dark secret" is now out
A gay vicar who led a “desperate double life” and
collected thousands of child porn pictures after struggling with
his homosexuality for years was jailed for 12 months.
The Rev Ian Hughes, parish priest of Poulton and
Seacombe, in Wirral
was arrested after police traced a file of 291 child porn images
he had made available for sharing over the internet.
When they raided the vicarage on Brougham Road,
Wallasey, in July last year he told them: “It’s a relief in a
way. It’s like an addiction.”
Jailing Liverpool Crown Court judge David Aubrey said
the 46-year-old had led a double life but his "dark secret was
Jayne Morris, prosecuting, told Liverpool
Crown Court on Tuesday that 8,227 images and movies were
recovered with more than 800 of the top two categories of
seriousness along with two images of bestiality.
Hughes told police he had been attracted to boys since
he was a teenager and after becoming a priest aged 21 struggled
with his sexuality.
He said he thought of the images as “just a film, it
He admitted 16 counts of possessing indecent images of
children and a single charge of possessing extreme pornography.
Peter Killen, defending, said: “The defendant’s
repression of his sexuality has played a part. It played a part
in introducing him to the desperate depraved world of parts of
the internet. He began to lead a desperate double life.
“On one hand he was a successful parish priest
carrying out all the duties expected of him to a very very high
standard and to the advantage of hundreds or thousands of people
during the time of his tenure in Halton
, then Wirral at Seacombe and Poulton.”
Mr Killen added that on the other hand, alone at night
time, he was committing the offences for which he had to be
Mr Killen said: “His journey down that arena began as a
way of dealing with his own repressed sexuality, attempting to
live life as a celibate gay man for very many years.”
Hughes resigned as a priest after being suspended since
The Bishop of Chester said in a statement: "Ian Hughes'
court appearance and sentencing have come as a deep shock to all
who know him. His actions have been totally unacceptable for a
Christian minister and his case will now be considered by the
disciplinary procedures of the Church.
"I would like to express my profound regret, and on
behalf of the Church of England, to offer my apologies especially
to the parishioners of Poulton and Seacombe in Wallasey. They
have been badly let down.
"Fortunately incidents such as this are rare. I hope
that it wiull serve as a reminder to all clergy both of the high
standards which are rightly expected of Christian ministers and
of the new dangers posed by our digital and internet age."