Former Spanish army sergeant jailed for online child sex abuse offences
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A third paedophile involved in child abuse over the internet has been jailed in as many weeks by Bedfordshire Police.
Gabriel Gonzalez, a former sergeant in the Spanish army, was jailed for almost four years after a court heard he had watched the “most horrific, sadistic, tortuous abuse” of children online.
It means three men have been jailed for more than a combined 15 years already this year for internet child abuse offences as a result of Bedfordshire Police investigations.
The force has also issued a plea to parents and carers to discuss these issues with their children and raise any concerns, to coincide with today’s (Tuesday’s) Safer Internet Day.
T/Detective Inspector Pete Ward, head of Bedfordshire Police’s cyber hub, said: “I cannot commend all of the team enough for their hard work and dedication in bringing these offenders to justice.
“I know that all our communities find the abuse of children absolutely vile and we are leading the fight to make the internet a safe place for everyone.
“This is especially poignant on Safer Internet Day. I would encourage anyone reading about this case to talk to their children about these issues.
“There will never be an ‘ideal’ time to talk about online child sexual abuse, but make sure you’re having open conversations with your child without judgement or shame. Pick your moment, but don’t wait for the ‘perfect’ age or time.
“Be honest, in an age-appropriate way and remember that when you speak to your child, whatever they tell you, never imply that they are responsible or to blame.”
Bedfordshire Police launched an investigation after Gonzalez, 43, of Pine Road, Manchester, was linked to the sharing of indecent images of children.
Police seized a number of Gonzalez’s digital devices and found 529 indecent images of children, as well as other extreme pornographic material.
Gonzalez was also found to have shared some of this material with others.
He pleaded guilty to making and distributing indecent images of children, as well as possession of extreme pornographic material.
On Thursday (3 February) Gonzalez was jailed for three years and eight months. He will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for life.
PC Billie Scholten, from Bedfordshire Police’s Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “Gonzalez experienced sexual pleasure watching a video which would reduce others to tears. The presence of one of his videos alone is sadistic and vile; the sharing of such unspeakable horrors with other offenders is a disgrace.
“He has shown no remorse for his actions. He has been confrontational and defensive with every person who has engaged with him, to the extent that he sacked his solicitor on the belief that legal defence representatives are working with the police.
“His attitude in interview was one of arrogance and disrespect towards officers, and he is dismissive of the principle that possession and distribution of child abuse material is wrong.
“These kind of people have no place in civilised society and I am glad that he is off the streets and no longer poses a risk to children.”
In January Matthew Swift, 37, of Marriotts Close, Felmersham, and Callum Cooper, 19, from Flitwick, were jailed for six years one month and five years four months respectively for online child sex abuse offences.
Anyone with any information or concerns about online child sex abuse, no matter how small, should report this to police.