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Sex offender police inspector's home address ban lifted

By John Scott | West Bromwich | Crime | Published:

A West Bromwich police inspector who admitted making or distributing more than 300 indecent images of children, including a film of a six-year-old boy, has been granted bail 24 hours after being remanded in custody.

Lee Bartram

Former Sandwell officer Lee Bartram, now based in Birmingham, pleaded guilty to five counts of making indecent images of a child and two counts of distributing such material when he appeared at Walsall Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

The 44-year-old was remanded in custody after the court was told by the prosecutor that the defendant had filmed a teenage boy sunbathing with a commentary of what he would like to do with him while on bail.

It was then discovered that the District Judge sitting on the case had been inadvertently misled following a misunderstanding and Bartram had not broken the terms of his bail - imposed after his arrest on Monday - because the video was actually recorded in June last year.

The mistake was explained to Judge James Burbidge QC at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday and he granted bail with conditions that prevent Bartram from unsupervised access to people under the age of 18, restrict his use of the internet to public libraries where computers have suitable fire walls and ban him from any activity that would bring him into contact with people under 18.

The judge also lifted reporting restrictions on his home address, imposed at the magistrates court following an application by West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann over fears the defendant and his family could become a target for terrorists if it was made public.

The application for the ban to be removed was made by the Press Association and contested by both the prosecution and defence but Judge James Burbidge ruled: "I don't believe there is an objective and well founded risk as a result of these proceedings and him being a police officer.

"The fact that I grant him bail should not inform any subsequent judge as to what sentence should be passed."

Bartram, from Bustleholme Lane, West Bromwich, has pleaded guilty to making and distributing one category B image and 10 category C images on May 13 this year and also, between August 15, 2013 and August 15, 2018, making eight category A images on his iPhone and iPad, eight category B images and 290 category C images.

He has been placed on the sex offenders' register and will be sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on September 13.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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