Author： EnglishTeacher 2023-05-15
Spain's supreme court has upheld the 135-year prison sentence handed to a British teacher and nanny who created and distributed pornography featuring children in his care after changing his name following previous convictions.
Ben David Rose legally changed his identity after his conviction on child pornography charges in Britain, meaning that he did not appear as a registered sex offender during background checks in Spain.
Rose, previously known as Ben David Lewis, received a two-year suspended sentence in June 2016 for the child pornography offences in the English city of St Albans.
In August of that same year, with a new name and passport, he was working as a nanny in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, before moving to Madrid to nanny for two more young children and work as an English teacher at a private school.
When police later searched his phone, they found dozens of photos and videos of him with girls as young as six inside a classroom.
Rose was also convicted of photographing three children under 10 years old naked or in their underwear and distributing the images on the dark web from his time as a nanny in Zaragoza.
The Spanish supreme court upheld Rose's conviction and sentence in a lower court on child pornography offences, dozens of offences linked to disclosure of secrets, and a single conviction for a 'crime against moral integrity'. The length of sentence totalled 135 years.
The verdict in his appeal comes at a time of heightened scrutiny for private schools in Spain, as police investigate how a lunch monitor at a French school in Barcelona was able to initiate sexual contact with children as young as five.
UK campaigners, including The Safeguarding Alliance charity, are lobbying the UK Government to amend the law on name changes.
'Existing laws are enabling offenders to work around the system, free to obscure their identity without being monitored,' the charity has said.
The three judges who originally convicted and imprisoned the offender found him guilty of eight counts of making child pornography, a crime of inflicting degrading treatment on another person, 32 privacy offences and one count of forgery.
As well as being handed a lengthy prison sentence, he was also ordered to pay his victims compensation ranging from £2,500 to just over £5,000 each.
The Brit paedophile changed his name by deed poll the day after his conviction.
The judges called the Brit pervert's crimes 'serious' in their lengthy written ruling, adding: 'It's going to be very difficult for the children's parents to return to the situation they were in before the offender committed them, even though they receive economic compensation.'
Detectives said specialist police in the Australian city of Queensland had tipped them off about a 'sexual predator' they believed was in Spain who they identified following a complex probe slowed down by the suspect's encryption techniques.
They revealed he had a criminal record in his native UK and accused him of targeting 36 children aged four to eight after tricking his way into the Spanish education system - but didn't name him or go into detail about how he allegedly duped the system.
Ben David Lewis, as he was known before he left the UK, was arrested in August 2015 after a worker at a summer camp he founded, LL Camps in Bushey, Hertfordshire, found naked photos of children as young as three on his iPhone.
Sandra Vicente told St Albans Crown Court she felt like her brain had been 'polluted' after chancing upon the snaps.
She was given the phone and entry PIN by the then-26-year-old to play music at a children's party but found the images in the deleted items after 'getting nosey' and went to police.
Officers found a pair of child's underwear next to his laptop as well as videos he had taken by pointing his camera up the skirt of a young girl he was tutoring.
Prosecutor Ann Evans said police found searches on one of his iPod Touches such as 'Can a sex offender go to the USA?, 'Accidental downloading child porn' and 'How do police search computers?'
He pleaded guilty to three counts of downloading indecent images and one of taking indecent images but was spared prison after claiming he wanted to get married and have children.
He was also ordered to register as a sex offender indefinitely.
The American-style summer camp he set up with a friend was closed down by Ofsted.