A paedophile who planned to escape with £10,000 after he was caught with incriminating child sex abuse photos has had the cash confiscared.
David Morris, 52, faced a Proceeds of Crime hearing at Liverpool Crown Court today.
In December he was sentenced to 16 years in jail for raping a young girl with his partner Julie Morris, 44.
RE teacher Julie Morris worked at St George’s Central Primary School in Tyldesley, Wigan, where she was the ‘safeguarding lead’.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that none of the offences were related to Julie Morris’ job as a deputy headteacher.
During a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court today, David Morris was made subject of a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act in relation to the £10,000 he was found in possession of when trying to escape to the Lake District.
RE teacher Julie Morris, 44, and David Morris, 52, filmed themselves abusing and raping a child under the age of 13 in multiple videos
The cash was seized by police at the time of his arrest and will be split between Merseyside Police and the Home Office to be reinvested in policing.
In September last year he was caught sending indecent photos to other paedophiles online.
The couple filmed themselves raping a young girl which a judge said was ‘almost beyond belief’.
Police raided Mr Morris’ home on Sandfield Road in Eccleston, St Helens, where they seized his phone, computer and other digital equipment.
He was arrested on suspicion of possession and distribution of indecent images of children, questioned by police and released on bail with conditions.
David Morris had such a huge quantity of footage it has been impossible for police to examine it all
David Morris and Julie Morris met on dating app Plenty of fish
The next day police received information that Mr Morris and his partner Julie Morris had committed sexual offences against a child under 13 and were planning their escape.
Officers tracked the couple down at an address in Hindley, Manchester where they were found with £10,000 in cash and a campervan packed with their belongings.
Julie Morris admitted 18 sexual offences, including two counts of rape, while David Morris admitted 34 sexual offences, including seven counts of rape.
In January Julie Morris was jailed for 13 years and four months with an extended four years on licence, while David Morris was jailed for 16 years with an extended four years on licence.
They are only required to serve two thirds of this behind bars before being released on licence.
The judge ordered them both to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and to comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life.
Detective Inspector Lisa Milligan said: ‘Morris thought that he and Julie Morris could evade capture and avoid paying for their heinous crimes.. They were wrong.
Mrs Morris told police she had ensured that the victim had ‘not been under duress or in any pain and made sure that she wanted to do the acts’.
‘Officers from Merseyside Police acted swiftly to detain the pair and seize this cash, and I’m pleased to say it will now be reinvested in policing, helping our officers continue to put offenders before the courts and protect vulnerable people in Merseyside from harm.’
Det Insp Milligan added: ‘The offences committed by Julie and David Morris have had a devastating impact on the victims and their families, who continue to live with the psychological torment they both inflicted.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank the victims who came forward and their families, whose help was vital in putting the offenders behind bars and protecting others from their offending.
‘I would also like to pay tribute to the investigation team and all those officers involved in ensuring the attempts of David and Julie Morris to avoid justice were extremely short-lived.
Julie was safeguarding lead at St George’s Central Church of England Primary School in Wigan, the offences are not related to her employment at the school in Wigan
‘This case illustrates very clearly how committed our officers are to ensuring people who exploit children in any way are stopped and put before the courts.’
Any child, or young person who is a victim of sexual abuse, or anyone who knows of a child being abused, is urged to come forward and report this to police.
Merseyside Police has a specialist team committed to dealing with all forms of child abuse, who will treat any information from you extremely seriously, and will follow up every report and any information that comes in.
If you have any suspicions about children who could be at risk of child abuse, please report it to police. Call 999, or pass on information via 101, @MerPolCC on Twitter, or anonymously via 0800 555 111.