Chelmsford man charged with indecent image offences in virtual reality first

A man has been charged with multiple offences as part of a child sexual abuse investigation which was the first in Essex to find indecent images of children on virtual reality headsets.

Daren Anthony Jones, 58, of Burgess Field, Chelmsford was due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court this afternoon (February 27), after being charged with ten offences, including possession of a paedophile manual.

An investigation was launched by the Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) in August 2023 following intelligence around indecent images of children online.

A warrant was executed at an address in Chelmsford and several electronic devices were seized including virtual reality headsets. Jones was released on bail but was further arrested on Monday February 26 following a report of a man taking images of children.

He has been charged with four counts of making indecent photographs of a child, three counts of possession of an extreme pornographic image, possession of a paedophile manual, possession of a prohibited image of a child and taking an indecent photo of a child.