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Double life of respected artist jailed over child porn

Christopher Newbrook
Christopher Newbrook

An award-winning Strood artist has been jailed for 15 months after admitting possessing and distributing child pornography.

Christopher Newbrook lived a double life as a respected artist with a studio in Rochester – while being a user and purveyor of the vile images.

The 47-year-old, of Weston Road, pleaded guilty to 10 charges of possessing indecent images of children, two of distributing indecent photographs and three of distributing obscene publications.

In 2003, Newbrook won an open art competition called the Dover Prize, in Darlington, which influenced his decision to become a full-time artist.

After exhibiting in Newcastle and London, he relocated to Kent and had a studio in Rochester.

Maidstone Crown Court heard how, after tracking him online, officers raided Newbrook’s home address on August 19, seizing his computer equipment and memory sticks on which more than a thousand images and movies of child pornography were stored.

These images and films ranged from levels 1-5 in seriousness. Police also found documents written to and from Newbrook discussing the abuse of children in detail.

Newbrook pleaded guilty on Friday, when a judge decided to sentence him on the same day to a 15-month jail term.

DC Heather Spencer, from Kent Police’s public protection unit, said: "Newbrook seemed to live a double life. On one hand a respected artist and on the other he engaged in the viewing and distributing of these vile images of child pornography to other like-minded individuals.

"He clearly had no concept of the possibility that he was encouraging child abuse by doing so, and I am glad that the public protection crime unit have been able to put a stop to his activities.

"We will continue to try and identify those to whom he distributed images and ensure they too are investigated and brought to justice."

Newbrook was also made subject to a sex offenders’ prevention order for five years and was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

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