NSPCC reacts after Sheffield hospital worker is caught committing sex offences online

The NSPCC is using a court case in Sheffield to urge the Government to do more to protect children from sexual predators online.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 9:21 am

The children’s charity reacted after Paul Bower, who worked at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, was snared by undercover police officers from the National Crime Agency posing as children online.

Bower, aged 32, of Cundy Street, near Hillfoot, Sheffield, struck up sexual conversations on social media with two girls he believed were 12 years old.

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Paul Bower, who worked at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, was caught committing sexual offences online in an operation involving police officers posing as young girls

He was jailed for three years after admitting two counts of attempting to incite a child into sexual activity, two counts of attempting to communicate sexually with a child and two counts of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

Biomedical scientist Bower also admitted three counts of making indecent images of children after police recovered 12 category A images, 20 category B images and 311 category C images from his electronic devices, with category A being the most serious.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Bower’s sickening collection of indecent images and repulsive attempts to abuse children show the ease with which paedophiles can use the internet as a tool to target young people.

“The NSPCC is calling on the Government to ensure its upcoming Online Safety Bill is robust enough to protect children from offenders like Bower, and holds tech companies accountable if young people are put at risk on their platforms.”

Sentencing Bower at Sheffield Crown Court, Recorder David Gordon added him the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

Bower was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Those named on the Sex Offenders Register must abide by certain conditions aimed at reducing the risk of them reoffending.

They have to notify the authorities of their address each time they move to avoid them going to ground.

Conditions imposed relate to past offending as well as the risk of future reoffending.

Bosses at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital have not commented on the case. Children are not treated there.

Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111. Adults can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 8005000 or email [email protected] to raise concerns.