Clapham government press officer twice downloaded abuse images while on bail for similar charges

A drug-taking civil servant who was arrested for online child sexual abuse offences twice went on to commit more crimes while on bail using new computers.

Press officer Richard Arcari, 37, from Kings Avenue, Clapham, has now been jailed for 42 months and put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Arcari had been arrested and bailed the first time in February 2017 by Metropolitan Police officers after he watched an online video of a man raping a boy – and had offered to swap videos with other offenders.

When he was arrested his iPad was seized and it contained hundreds of child abuse videos and images.

But he was soon caught again – on 7 March 2018 National Crime Agency officers investigating an online conferencing room where child abuse was streamed arrested Arcari, who used the identity ‘FitPrvUK’.

Arcari had acquired a new Hewlett Packard laptop which also contained hundreds of abuse images.

He told investigators he visited the conferencing room to watch male pornography but could not remember what he’d viewed or streamed because of his use of crystal meth.

Just 17 days later NCA officers searched his home again after discovering he was using the conferencing room under the new name TabBoy which he used to comment on abuse images while they were streamed.

NCA officers recovered another Hewlett Packard laptop and an iPhone which both contained child sexual abuse material.

On 6 September 2018 Arcari’s employer Defra – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – notified the NCA that during a routine security check they discovered an unauthorised memory stick containing file names which pointed to indecent images of children.

NCA officers searched his home again and Arcari handed over a SanDisk USB and Defra supplied his laptop. Both contained more abuse content.

In total, Arcari had 716 category A (the most serious) stills and videos, 588 category B stills and videos and 344 category C stills and videos.

Arcari pleaded guilty to 22 charges including making indecent images of children, possessing extreme pornographic images, possessing class A drugs and intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an either way offence.

Today, at Inner London Crown Court he was jailed and given a sexual harm prevention order restricting his use of the internet.

NCA operations manager Graham Ellis said: “The evidence showed Arcari was visiting online conference rooms to watch child abuse from as long ago as November 2015.

“Even when he had been arrested and was on bail he continued to offend.

“Every time footage is replayed or an image reshared, that child is revictimised.

“There is no greater priority for us than protecting children.”

The scale and severity of offending against children are worsening.

The NCA and UK police arrest around 500 child sex offenders a month and safeguard about 700 children a month.

Child Protection Charity The Lucy Faithfull Foundation runs the Stop It Now! helpline which offers confidential advice to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s behaviour towards children.

If you are concerned a crime has been committed against a child contact your local police. For advice on child safety visitThinkuknow.co.uk

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