was a former LDS bishop in the UK; in 2008, sentenced to three and a half years in jail for distributing and possessing indecent images of children

Case Summary

In 2008 in the UK, former LDS bishop Gerald Tapp was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for distributing and possessing indecent images of children. “Police found more than 24,000 indecent images and 948 movie stills of children on a family computer. He admitted 34 charges of making, distributing and possessing indecent images of children.” He was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register. He had movies of children ages 6 months to 12 years.

“A FORMER Mormon bishop has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail after police found more than 24,000 indecent images of children on a family computer.

Gerald Tapp, of Spencer Street, Gravesend, admitted 34 charges of making, distributing and possessing indecent images of children.

Police also found the 56-year-old had 948 movie stills.

Maidstone Crown Court heard on September 12 how Tapp had filmed up the skirts of schoolgirls at a school where he worked as a design technician and police had found video footage of children in Gravesend town centre.

Tapp handed himself into police after his wife Jenny confronted him about his use of the internet.

Prosecutor Lucy Luttman said Tapp was seen viewing porn sites and also having online conversations with a 12-year-old girl called “Jessica”.

She said Tapp had accessed the internet and found he could create a persona and be someone else.

This became like an addiction for him.

Tapp, who was formerly a bishop in the Mormon church, had images and movies of children ranging from six months to 12 years old.

Alistair Keith, mitigating, said: “He accepts he must be punished.”

Judge Philip Statman told Tapp: “You had no understanding of what your victims had suffered.”

In a statement released by police, Mrs Tapp said: “It came as a great shock to me that my husband was involved in this activity, as I was totally unaware of his actions.

“Once I began to have suspicions, I spoke to him and persuaded him to hand himself in to police and make a full confession of his crimes.

“I do not condone his despicable actions.”

After Tapp handed himself into police on March 28, officers tried to trace “Jessica”.

Tapp’s mobile phone was used to trace the girl, who turned out to be a 33-year-old man called Jonathon Wales.

Wales, from Croydon, was found to have more than 1,000 indecent images of children on his laptop and a USB drive.

Ms Luttman told the court Wales had previously been jailed on charges involving indecent images.

The court heard he was annoyed people were getting away with crimes he had been punished for, so he decided to waste the time of around 15 men.

Wales admitted 38 charges of making, distributing and possessing indecent images.

He was also given a three-and-a-half-year jail term.

Both men were put on the Sex Offenders’ Register and banned from working with children.”

“A teaching assistant and Mormon bishop from Gravesend was shopped by his daughter after she caught him lusting over child sex abuse images on the internet, a court heard.

The teenager told her mother and Gerald Tapp tried to explain it away by claiming the pictures were “pop-ups”.

Tapp’s computer equipment was seized by police and and more than 25,000 images, including film clips, were found.

The 56-year-old was jailed for three-and-a-half years at Maidstone Crown Court for downloading and distributing thousands of child abuse images – some showing the torture of babies.”

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