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Orthodox man jailed for sex offences

    An Orthodox academic has been jailed for four months after police found dozens of images of children in his computer.

    Eight years ago Dr Benjamin Yudkin, 41, of Wolvercote, Oxford, escaped a custodial sentence after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old child in Reading.

    Last week Yudkin appeared for sentence at Oxford Crown Court having previously admitted three counts of possession of indecent images.

    Matthew Walsh, prosecuting, told the court about the 2001 conviction for touching a child, after Yudkin had been invited to nine-year-old’s family home during Succot the previous year. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

    At the time, Yudkin also pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of girls under 16 on his computer,
    Mr Justice John Saunders told the court that due to Yudkin’s previous conviction he must go to prison.

    He said: “I accept it is a tragedy for him, but more of a tragedy for his wife and children. He must know he simply cannot carry on doing this and get away with it.”

    Rachel Drake, defending, told the court Yudkin had worked with specialist groups to fight his urges since his conviction eight years ago.

    But he had stopped taking medication prescribed to prevent re-offending, due to unpleasant side effects, Ms Drake added.

    She said: “He won’t stop taking the medicine again. But it has to be accepted, this was a relapse.”

    Mr Justice Saunders described Yudkin as an intelligent man. He said: “This defendant suffers from depression and stopped taking the drug helping him with depression because of unpleasant side effects.

    “Dr Yudkin recognises the seriousness of the offences. He knows... it is only because of people like him taking an interest in images such as these, that photographs of children are taken.”

    Yudkin was disqualified from working with children and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for a further seven years.

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