Undertaker jailed over indecent images of children

Chichester Crown Court
Chichester Crown Court

AN UNDERTAKER has been sentenced to two years in prison after police found more than 600 indecent images and videos of children in his possession.

Richard Chalcraft, 37, of South Street, Lancing, had pleaded guilty after police raided his house last year, telling officers he had become ‘desensitised’ to what he was seeing. He was sentenced for five counts of possessing indecent images and videos and a count of distribution at Chichester Crown Court this afternoon (March 12).

Prosecutor Rachel Beckett said some of the images showed boys as young as four or five. She told the court Chalcraft did not try to hide his guilt from the moment he was arrested and taken to a police station.

“During that journey the defendant said words similar to ‘it’s ridiculous really, people start sending you stuff and you become desensitised’,” she said. “When in custody he confirmed he said those words.” She said when asked if he wanted a solicitor present, Chalcraft replied: “If you’re guilty, you’re guilty. Do I need one?”

Defending, John Naylor said his client – a funeral director of 11 years – was ‘addicted to porn’ and the downloading of images of children all took place on one day in September, 2013. “His addiction is more to porn than perhaps child porn, if I can put it in those terms,” he said.

Police found 297 pictures at Chalcraft’s home and 312 videos. The distribution took place on a single occasion when he was chatting online with someone in February, 2014. Chalcraft said he was ‘very drunk’ at the time he sent the images.

The judge was told Chalcraft accepted he was facing jail and the loss of his reputation. “He loses his job, he loses his good name, he loses his accommodation,” said Mr Naylor.

Chalcraft was sentenced to two years in prison for the most serious offence – distributing indecent images – and was told he would be released after serving half the sentence. For the remaining five counts of possession he received prison sentences of eight months, four months, two months, ten months and five months, all to be served concurrently.

• The Herald has been asked to point out that Richard Chalcraft, 37, of South Street, Lancing, is not connected with Chalcraft Funeral Directors, of Steyning.