judge rules convicted paedophile officer’s address can be reported after rejecting police claims he could become a target for terrorists
- Judge today rules that convicted paedophile officer’s address can be reported
- It came a day after another judge ruled it should be withheld over terror fears
- West Midlands police said if details were reported he could be a terror target
- Inspector Lee Bartram was granted bail. He has admitted making and distributing 300 indecent images of children
A judge has today ruled that a convicted paedophile officer’s address can now be reported after rejecting claims he and his family could be targeted by terrorists.
Inspector Lee Bartram’s address was yesterday ordered to be withheld after West Midlands Police argued that releasing details would create a ‘severe threat’ of terrorism.
But today Judge James Burbidge QC lifted the order banning the publication, saying he did not believe there to be a ‘heightened risk to his life.’
Bartram, 44, of West Bromwich, pleaded guilty to making and distributing more than 300 indecent images of children, including videoing a boy of six and blaming his parents for dressing him in an attractive way.
Bartram (pictured left and right) appeared at Walsall Magistrates Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to making and distributing more than 300 images of children
Yesterday he was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing, but he was today granted bail by Judge Burbidge after Wolverhampton Crown Court was told prosecutors had wrongly claimed he had filmed a teenager sunbathing while on police bail previously.
He has admitted five counts of making indecent images of a child and two counts of distributing similar images.
The charges, spanning a period between August 2013 and the same month of this year, relate to a total of 328 images, including some found on an iPad and an iPhone.
Yesterday district judge Graham Wilkinson ordered that Bartram’s address should not be published as it could lead to the Birmingham-based officer or his family being ‘targeted by terrorists for the most serious acts of violence’.
Judge James Burbidge QC (pictured) today lifted an order banning the publication of his address, saying he did not believe there to be a ‘heightened risk to his life’
But Judge Burbidge opted to lift the reporting restriction on Friday, rejecting a joint application by prosecution and defence counsel to keep Bartram’s address secret.
West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann submitted a letter to the court asking the judge to take into consideration the current ‘severe’ terror threat rating.
Mr Cann’s letter stated: ‘Should you feel able to direct that an address can be withheld, taking into account all the circumstances of the case before you, then you would be making a valuable contribution to mitigating the current threat we face.’
Lifting the order, Judge Burbidge told the court: ‘I do not believe there is an objective and well founded, heightened risk to his life as a result of these proceedings and him being a police officer.
Policeman Lee Bartram (pictured), 44, has pleaded guilty to making and possessing indecent images of children
‘There has to be a good reason to make an order prohibiting open reporting.’
After imposing conditional bail, which bans Bartram from using the internet, the judge added: ‘The fact that I grant him bail should not inform any subsequent judge as to what sentence should be passed.’
West Midland Police were today accused of playing ‘fast and loose’ with anti-terror legislation for trying to withhold his address.
Professor Anthony Glees, the director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham told Mailonline: ‘It is extremely unsettling if West Midlands Police are playing fast and loose with anti terror legislation.
‘Counter terrorism officers would be appalled it was being used in this way, to protect a PC who has been convicted of child pornography crimes.
Prosecutors said some of the films made by Bartram (pictured) had a ‘commentary’ from the officer ‘as to what he would like to do’ with the children
Professor Anthony Glees, the director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham
‘The information we have suggests that this police officer has not been involved in the counter terror police.
‘On the face of it, this brings anti terror legislation into disrepute, and it damages public perception of anti terror legislation, allowing others to rubbish it.’
However, Professor Glees said there may be hidden fear within the West Midlands force that its officers could be targeted by terrorists.
He added: ‘For this to fall under the remit of terror, then there has to be some type of specific connection to the people that would go and do this.
‘It is not only Islamic terror that poses a threat, we know that there are a number of right wing extremists who are prepared to resort to violence.
‘If there is a threat against officers in this area, that that too is extremely unsettling.’
According to The Times, last month the press were banned from reporting the address of a West Midlands officer accused of using ‘highly sexualised’ language towards a victim of crime.
Again, the court was told that it could make him a target for terrorists.
Other forces do not appear to be using the same tactic, the paper reports, including the Metropolitan Police, whose officer Keith Palmer was murdered in Westminster in a terror attack last year.
Last month details of a Met officer charged with assault were released an alleged rapist from the force has had his details released.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: ‘This is standard policy where we request an officer’s address is withheld due to the current threat level.
‘It is then up to the judge on how they rule on this.’
Bartram, who has not worked as a counter-terror officer, is due to be sentenced on September 13.