Former Army officer sentenced for watching child abuse at Croydon Crown Court

Andrew Whiddett Pic: NCA


A former Army officer has been sentenced to three years and two months in jail at Croydon Crown Court after he spent thousands of pounds streaming videos of children being sexually abused.

Andrew Whiddett, of Portsmouth, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to six charges relating to the sexual abuse of children. The 70-year-old former lieutenant colonel streamed images of child abuse from the Philippines.

Judge Nicholas Ainley said: “I am well aware of the service dedicated to this country but children, wherever they are in the world, need to be protected from this type of activity.”

According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), Whiddett had also talked about leaving the country to commit further abuse in person.

Siobhan Grey QC, defending Whiddett, said he showed “remorse and shame”, and claimed there was a low risk of reoffending.

Whiddett previously pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to cause or incite a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity in November 2015, and a charge of intentionally causing or inciting a girl under 16 to engage in sexual activity in September 2016.

He was also sentenced over guilty pleas to three charges of making indecent photographs of a child, involving eight category C and three category B images.

Between September and October 2016 Whiddett made clear in conversations he “wanted to sexually abuse a child when he visited the Philippines that October”, the NCA said.

An NSPCC spokeswoman said: “Today’s sentence sends a clear message that no matter where or how abuse takes place, perpetrators can and will be brought to justice.”

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