Today in St Helena’s Supreme Court, Jeromy Cairns Wicks pleaded guilty to downloading indecent images from the internet onto his computer. This is the first prosecution of this category on St Helena and follows an investigation in which computer materials were seized during the execution of a warrant earlier this year at Mr Cairns Wicks’ home in Jamestown. The St Helena investigative team received expert support from specialist officers at Sussex Police in the UK.
Chief of Police Trevor Botting said:
“Regrettably this is now quite a common offence in the UK, but it is the first time such an offence has been prosecuted in St Helena.
“This investigation would have been very difficult without the welcome assistance of Sussex Police who provided specialist technical support and I am very grateful to them for their help. Safeguarding children is a priority for us all, and the Police Directorate will work closely with the Health and Education directorates to enhance and develop the way in which safeguarding children is managed on St Helena.
“The downloading of indecent images of children is a serious criminal issue that we will continue to address. I would like to give credit to the investigative team for their dedicated work, in difficult circumstances, to bring these offences to Court.”
Jeromy Cairns Wicks is currently serving a 6 month sentence in HMP Jamestown for firearms offences. He has today been sentenced by Chief Justice Ekins in respect of the above matters to 15 months imprisonment.
Director of Health David Jenkins added:
“The protection of children and young people is a statutory responsibility that we take very seriously. I am appreciative of the investigative diligence demonstrated in this case and we will continue to work together to ensure that robust safeguards are in place and to investigate fully any allegations of activities where the welfare of children or young adults is threatened”.
Mr Cairns Wicks was previously employed as a Police Officer and as a Social Work Manager on St Helena. An internal review and investigation by the Police and Social Services into potential criminality relating to Mr Cairns Wicks’ employment in St Helena Police and Social Services has taken place. If anyone does feel that there are any issues they would like to raise concerning this matter, please contact Police or Social Services on the Police Confidential Helpline: 22888.
Trevor Botting, Chief of Police & David Jenkins, Director of Health & Social Welfare
8 November 2013