Protecting the Children

Or letting the fox guard the chicken? Christopher Jarvis was a former social worker employed by the Roman Catholic Church in Plymouth England to advise them in how to protect children from abuse. Oops.

Jarvis, who worked for the Catholic Diocese for nearly nine years, was caught when he uploaded five indecent images on to a social networking site.

Jarvis, of Salisbury Road, St Judes, admitted 12 counts of making, possessing and distributing indecent images.

The court was told that police found 3,927 Level 1 images, 258 Level 2 images, 38 Level 3 images, 146 Level 4 images and 10 level 5 images when they searched his home and work computers on March 23. Level 1 is the least serious image and Level 5 is the most serious.

Some countries use the 10 level COPINE scale for child pornography, the UK combines levels so that the highest is 5.

Jarvis is not a priest, so the church did not try to hide him.

Jarvis was immediately suspended from his job as safeguarding co-ordinator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Plymouth and is no longer in post. It was said in court that he had access to sensitive information about vulnerable children in the Church but there was no evidence that he was directly involved in the abuse of children.


Jarvis’s job involved advising churches and affiliated groups on child protection procedures and arranging training for workers. He also monitored offenders, including sex offenders, in churches and church groups.

It seems there is something about the Catholic Church and paedophiles. Does it create them? Does it attract them? I don’t know, but the two certainly have become synonymous.

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