20th June 2024
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Spain’s Supreme Court upholds 135-year sentence of British paedophile

The Spanish Supreme Court has upheld the 135-year prison sentence of a British teacher and au pair who created and distributed pornography of children in his care after changing his name and country following previous convictions.

Ben David Rose legally changed his identity after his conviction on child pornography charges in the UK, meaning that he didn’t appear as a registered sex offender during background checks in Spain.

Rose, previously known as Ben David Lewis, received a two-year suspended sentence in June 2016 for the child pornography offences in the English city of St. Albans (Hertfordshire). By August of the same year, however, with a new name and passport, he was working as an au pair in the Spanish city of Zaragoza.

Rose then moved to Madrid and worked as an au pair there for two more young children before taking a job as an English teacher at a private school.

When police later searched his phone, they found dozens of photos and videos of him with girls as young as six inside a classroom. Rose also was convicted of photographing three children under 10 years old naked or in their underwear and distributing the images on the dark web from his time as an au pair in Zaragoza.

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld Rose’s conviction and sentence in a lower court on child pornography offences, dozens of offences linked to disclosure of secrets, and a single conviction for ‘crime against moral integrity’.

The verdict in his appeal comes at a time of heightened scrutiny for private schools in Spain, as police investigate how a lunch monitor at a French school in Barcelona was able to initiate sexual contact with children as young as five.

British campaigners, including The Safeguarding Alliance charity, are lobbying the UK government to amend the law on name changes.

‘Existing laws are enabling offenders to work around the system, free to obscure their identity without being monitored,’ the charity has said.

ALSO READ: Spain’s ombudsman has heard testimonies from 445 victims of church sex abuse.

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