Christopher Purnell, 62, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in jail after being convicted of 22 offences
A foster carer has been jailed for seven and a half years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life after being exposed as a paedophile.
Christopher Purnell was once the chairman of his local foster carers’ association and had also set up a help line for children in distress.
But the 62-year-old is now behind bars after a jury convicted him of 22 offences of indecency with a child, indecent assault, sexual activity with a child and making indecent photographs.
Purnell had denied all the charges against him.
The trial had heard how police computer experts found Purnell had trawled the internet using terms like “teenage nudist”, “boys in lycra tights” and “boys in boxers”.
Purnell claimed to the jury he had been researching material for a book he was writing on naturism but the court was told it was never published.
John Hipkin, prosecuting, said the sites Purnell visited on the internet as part of research had nothing to do with naturism.
One witness told how Purnell had taken photographs of him naked when he was a child, telling him he had a customer who “paid according to how dirty they were”.
The witness said he agreed to pose because he thought the money might lead to a better life.
He said: “He kept on and on about a man willing to pay thousands of pounds for real photographs of my genitals. Even afterwards he asked me for more and more, saying the first ones had not been valuable enough.”
Purnell boasted to one boy about his importance in fostering, and how he liaised with social services.
Swansea Crown Court heard Purnell also got a teenage boy drunk and that he woke up the following morning without any pyjamas on and “feeling really bad”.
Detective Constable Simon Davies said three of Purnell’s computers turned out to be “of interest”.
The court was told one showed he had downloaded child pornography at 3.31am on January 28, 2012, only a few days before he was arrested.
Mr Hipkin said Purnell’s sex offending dated back to 1982, when he indecently assaulted a boy, an offence for which he was convicted.
He was also found guilty of making indecent photographs of a child in 2012, as well as 20 crimes in between.
Purnell, of Minyrhos, Ystradgynlais, was jailed for seven and a half years by Judge Paul Thomas and ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for life.
After the jury returned guilty verdicts, one of Purnell’s victims said: “No-one could say anything against him in those days, he was a champion of fostering. And no-one was going to believe what I had to say.
“He was always going on about he was chairman of this, chairman of that.
“At the age he assaulted me it is very worrying and I accepted what I was told.
“Now, Purnell is where he belongs, in jail.”
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