A church warden faces jail in what is thought to be one of the first prosecutions concerning importing a child sex doll in the UK.
Ex-primary school governor David Turner, 72, who once worked as a church warden, pleaded guilty on Monday to importing the child sex doll after the application to dismiss the charge by arguing that the doll was not obscene was turned down.
Turner, from Ramsgate, was freed on bail to be sentenced on September 8 for the importation charge and for pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to possessing or making more than 34,000 indecent images of children aged around three to 16.
The trial at Canterbury Crown Court was described as setting an “important” precedent in how suspects can be prosecuted.
It comes amid a surge in seizures of child-like sex dolls by border officers, which had led investigators to identify dozens of previously unknown suspected paedophiles.
The lifelike silicone sex aids, which weigh around 55lb and can cost thousands of pounds, are being imported into the UK after being sold by traders on sites including Amazon and eBay, according to the National Crime Agency.
The dolls, often manufactured in China and Hong Kong, are a “relatively new phenomenon” in the UK and should be criminalised, the operations manager at the NCA’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, Hazel Stewart, said.