A former soldier and bodyguard to Prince Harry has been spared jail despite downloading images of child sexual abuse, after a judge praised his “examplary” service record.
Timothy Murfitt, 47, used search terms including “toddler”, “kids” and “baby girl pics” to seek out more than 10,000 images. He was given a suspended sentence at Maidstone crown court by Judge Martin Huseyin, who said: “You spent a great deal of your life protecting people from harm. You had an exemplary military career, you put your own life at risk. Equally importantly, you spent your life working to protect other soldiers from harm.”
The court was told that Murfitt was working in London when police went to his home in Sevenoaks, Kent, in April last year. When officers spoke to him by phone he said he had his laptop and hard drives with him and arranged to hand them over.
Mary Jacobson, for the prosecution, said Murfitt at first claimed that he had been looking only at adult pornography but examination of the drives revealed images of children. More than 250 were in the most serious and second most serious classifications. Hundreds of others featured bestiality.
Source: The Times