Man, 55, jailed in child sex case said: ‘It was God’s way’

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A MIDDLE-AGED former Ministry of Defence worker claimed it was ‘God’s way’ to have sex with a 16-year-old girl and possess hundreds of child porn images on his computer.

Stephen Atkin, jailed on Tuesday for three years, used his religious beliefs to justify having a relationship with the girl – with the consent of his wife.

But Judge Simon Davis told him “No God could justify what you did.”

Bespectacled Atkin, 55, served in the Army for 24 years, rising to warrant officer, and later worked as an engineer for the MOD, Aylesbury Crown Court heard.

But the supposedly upright citizen had a dark private life – in the form of a computer packed with pornography involving children as young as eight.

Police raided his home in Chaplin Grove, Crownhill, after receiving a complaint from the parents of the 16-year-old girl.

Officers found 1,273 indecent images of children on his computer, including dozens of the teenage lover, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The court heard the relationship with her was consensual, starting just after her 16th birthday, and the pair planned a “long term relationship” and possibly children. “His wife was part of that relationship,” said Nadia Chbat, defending. Mrs Atkin, who was in court, was still standing by her husband, she said. Smartly-dressed Atkin pleaded guilty to causing child pornography, taking indecent images of a child and nine counts of making indecent images of children.

Probation officers who compiled a pre-sentence report said he was a person “lacking in openness’ about his offending and suffered from cognitive distortion about his offending and the relationship with the 16-year-old.

Judge Davis told him: “This is a serious case which calls for an immediate custodial sentence... The girl was young and vulnerable and you took advantage of her emotionally and physically. We don’t know the consequences of this yet. Time will tell.”

Atkin, now on the Sex Offenders’ Register, was sentenced to three years and three months behind bars and banned from working with children.

He looked calm as he was led away from the dock to begin his sentence.