A RESPECTED genealogist has been jailed for repeatedly downloading indecent images of children.

David Leonard Eugene Gaertner, 64, defied more than one court order and continued his crimes despite completing a lengthy rehabilitation course aimed at stopping his perverted actions, York Crown Court heard.

He used internet techniques to try and hide what he was doing from police who were regularly checking his online activities, Rob Galley, prosecuting, said. But he failed to prevent them arresting and charging him.

Gaertner, formerly of Main Street, Hirst Courtney near Selby and now of Castle Wynd, Richmond, is a founder of the Federation of Probate and Asset Researchers Ltd and together with his wife set up Wishbone Family Research.

He pleaded guilty to one offence of downloading indecent images between March 31, 2014 and March 22, 2016 and one of having extreme pornography.

In April 2014, he was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years for having and distributing indecent images and having extreme pornography.

Jailing him for 20 months including four of the eight months previously suspended, Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said: “It is plain to this court you simply cannot help yourself.”

The judge said he was particularly concerned that Gaertner believed that some of the child victims in the indecent images and videos he downloaded were enjoying what was being done to them.

York Press:

In addition to the prison sentence, Gaertner was put on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely making him subject to police monitoring of his online activity indefinitely.

Mr Galley said Gaertner downloaded two illegal photographs while on bail for the earlier offences and accessed two illegal videos while subject to the suspended sentence and a sexual offences prevention order aimed at stopping his crimes.

Forensic computer experts also found 600 deleted indecent images of children on his computer as well as search terms indicating he had searched for images of children being sexually abused and had stored some images on iCloud rather than on his computer to hide them. His activities were uncovered during routine police checks on him.

For Gaertner, Holly Betke said he had “deep-seated” problems related to when he himself was abused as a child and for which he needed psychiatric help.

But the court couldn’t order him to do that. He felt he had made progress in dealing with his illegal desires under the suspended sentence.