Rotherham youth worker admits possessing indecent images of children

Jason O'Hanlon
Jason O'Hanlon

A Rotherham youth worker has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register after admitting possessing indecent images of children.

Jason O'Hanlon, aged 24, pleaded guilty to making indecent images of children on what should have been the first day of his trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

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The youth worker was employed at Team Katalyst at the time, which had centres in Rotherham and Barnsley before it re-branded as NovaCity after a director was also caught with indecent images of children on his computer.

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O'Hanlon, of Beech Road, Wath, pleaded guilty to one count of making indecent images of children on Tuesday and received a two-year conditional order of discharge, a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for two years.

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His computer equipment, where the images were found, was ordered to be destroyed.

Investigating officer DC Rachel Watts said: "Making indecent images of children is an inexcusable and deplorable crime and will not be tolerated.

"Our priority is to protect vulnerable members of society and we have a number of ongoing operations around the protection of children.

"O’Hanlon will be monitored by South Yorkshire Police’s Violent and Sex Offender Register team, and should he break the law again, he will be back before the courts and faces a custodial sentence."

O’Hanlon was arrested in 2017 after officers received information to suggest he had been looking at indecent images on his computer.

An investigation was launched and because of the nature of his employment a safeguarding plan put in place with Rotherham Borough Council’s Children and Young People’s Service.

He was charged in September 2017 and appeared at Sheffield Crown Court in November, where he entered a not guilty plea to all three charges.

Team Katalyst had venues on the Barbot Hall Industrial Estate at Parkgate, Rotherham and on Peel Parade in Barnsley.

The centres offered a number of activities including dance, parkour, gymnastics, trampolining, cheerleading and musical theatre.

Birthday parties were also held at the centres.

The business has now been taken over by NovaCity and has a new management team.

The re-brand came after director Richard Codd, of The Crescent West, Sunnyside, Rotherham, admitted three counts of possessing indecent images of children and one count of extreme pornography during a court hearing in January.

He was sentenced to a 36-month community order, given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.