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Ex-Methodist minister admits child porn offences

VicarshameA 51-YEAR-OLD former Methodist minister, who now lives in Crymych, appeared at North West Wiltshire Magistrates Court last week, where he pleaded guilty to five charges of making indecent images of children on November 28, 2011, and one charge of possessing them between November 2011 and October 2012.
The Rev Dale Anthony Cotton has admitted looking at child porn on the internet and confessed it was the result of a pornography addiction spanning back 10 years.
Cotton, who was employed by Chippenham Methodist Circuit, is to be put on the sex offenders’ register after being turned into police by a fellow minister at the church.
Police found more than 600 child abuse images on computers at the clergyman’s home in Chippenham at the end of October 2012.
Pauline Lambert, prosecuting, said: “In October 2012 Rev Jones contacted the police and said one of his ministers at the Methodist Church, that is Rev Dale Cotton, had informed him he had been accessing child pornography. Police officers seized two computers from Cotton’s home address.
“He said he had been addicted for the last ten years and had been involved in internet chat rooms.”
She said the two laptops contained a total of 611 child abuse images, of which 90 were able to be readily viewed again. The vast majority of these were level one, the lowest level of explicitness.
The court heard Cotton had visited websites synonymous with child abuse, including site addresses referencing school angels, nude virgins and teeny lovers.
Mark Glendenning, defending, said: “He has an addiction, and that has spilt out of curiosity over onto chat rooms. He accepts he has a problem.”
He told magistrates most of the images were inaccessible, and there was no suggestion of any having been distributed anywhere else.
Chair of the bench, Lady Maria Pitt, said a pre-sentence report should include all options, including custody.
Cotton will be sentenced by magistrates in Chippenham on October 31 after pre-sentence reports have been prepared.
Bail conditions forbid him from having contact with children under 16 without supervision, using a computer or other device to access the internet.