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Infamous teacher receives 135-year prison sentence

Content warning: this article addresses topics that may be distressing for some readers.

Back in 2021, the Gazette reported on the horrific case of Ben David Rose, a British teacher in Spain accused of creating and distributing child pornography. On Friday, Rose’s sentence of 135 years was upheld by Spain’s Supreme Court.

Rose was originally arrested in 2020, accused of crimes against 36 children. Specialist police in Queensland, Australia had tipped off Spanish police about a “sexual predator” they believed was residing in their country. The court has now convicted him on dozens of offenses, including child pornography, disclosure of secrets, and “crime against moral integrity.”

Previously known as Ben David Lewis, Rose changed his name by deed poll in 2016 after receiving a two-year suspended sentence – and a ban on travelling abroad – for similar offences in St Albans, Hertfordshire. In August of the same year, under his new name, Rose received a passport and passed Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks in order to start working with children in Spain.

Though Rose is now behind bars, his case is, unfortunately, not unique. The name-change loophole has raised serious safeguarding concerns in the UK. Currently, campaigners are rallying for the laws involving name changes to be amended.

“Existing laws are enabling offenders to work around the system, free to obscure their identity without being monitored,” the Safeguarding Alliance has said.

In March of this year, the problem was brought to debate in the House of Commons. However, the government has yet to show significant steps to address it.

Image courtesy of Pixabay
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