South Yorkshire youth club director admits possessing indecent images of children

The director of a youth club, which provides dance and free-running activities for thousands of youngsters across South Yorkshire, has been placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for Life after admitting possessing indecent images of children.

Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 9:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 10:55 am
Richard Codd

Richard Codd, director of Team Katalyst, was also sentenced to a three-year community order and a spokesman at the centre, which has facilities in Rotherham and Barnsley, said he had been "removed from his position".

Codd, 32, of The Crescent West, Sunnyside, admitted three counts of possessing indecent images of children and one count of extreme pornography during a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday, January 11.

He was sentenced to a 36-month community order, given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be on the sex offenders’ register for life. He will also attend mandatory rehabilitation training.

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Investigating officer Det Con Darren Walker said: "Accessing indecent images of children is a despicable crime and will absolutely not be tolerated by South Yorkshire Police.

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

“Codd will be monitored by South Yorkshire Police’s Violent and Sex offender register (VISOR) team and faces prison should he break the law again.”

A spokesman at Team Katalyst, who refused to give his name, said Codd was an "ex-member of staff who had been removed from his position".

Codd was arrested in February 2017 after police received intelligence to suggest he had been looking at indecent images on his computer.

An investigation was launched and a safeguarding plan put in place working alongside Rotherham Borough Council’s Children and Young People’s Service.

Team Katalyst has facilities on Barbot Hall Industrial Estate, near Parkgate and it also opened a branch on Peel Parade, Barnsley.

Det Con Walker added: “The 32-year-old’s laptop, phone and other items were seized and forensically examined which resulted in a number of images being discovered,” added DC Walker.

“Codd was placed on police bail with the condition of not to have unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18.”

A spokesman for Team Katalyst said news of the investigation into Codd's behaviour was a "huge shock".

He added: "Team Katalyst holds the safeguarding of all our users at the highest importance. The news of serious safeguarding allegations, and a subsequent investigation, was a huge shock and our first response was to remove the individual from operational responsibility.

"Team Katalyst has fully co-operated with the police and Rotherham multi-agency safeguarding teams, including our full support during the investigation and our rapid implementation of all safeguarding advice.

"As a result we have undertaken a robust safeguarding review and will continue to improve the safety of our service. Team Katalyst will continue to engage positively with these agencies to ensure that the safety of all our users is maintained.

"We are devastated by what has happened and can only deeply apologise. It is hoped that the actions of one individual will not damage such a valuable asset to the

community."

Rotherham Borough Council has also been contacted for a comment.