A depraved lecturer who taught for years at the University of Bedfordshire has been jailed after downloading hundreds of videos and images of children being abused, including the rape of a baby.
Dr Carmine De Vita, 58, appeared at Luton Crown Court for sentencing on Friday where he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of making indecent images of children.
De Vita was jailed for 20 months and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for 10 years, with an order to destroy the IT equipment seized by police.
Judge Steven Evans branded De Vita’s offences “disgusting” and ordered a second psychiatric report to be carried out on August 2 after being dissatisfied with the first.
De Vita, of Rosebery Avenue, Linslade, was for many years a senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Bedfordshire.
His home was raided by Beds Police on January 18, 2018, after they received information an IP address was being used to access child abuse websites.
A mobile phone and a computer were seized from the property and were submitted to the force’s Digital Forensic Unit which found 520 Category A images of the most serious nature, and over 400 Category B and C images.
In interview, De Vita admitted that the devices seized were his and nobody else’s. He told officers he was in ‘complete and utter shock’ at the amount of images and videos that were found, claiming he was only aware of one file on his phone and 30 on his computer.
De Vita was sacked from his job that same month and the University of Bedfordshire has since erased his details from their website. The university declined to comment when contacted by Luton Today.
Attempts were made in Crown Court by Beds Police and the Crown Prosecution Service to secure a press banning order withholding the married father’s name and address, but this was rejected by the judge, who stated there was no legislation that could be used to prevent De Vita’s details being published.
Investigation officer Stephen Facer, who investigated De Vita, said: “Real children are harmed when indecent images are made, and continue to be exploited every time the images are shared. I am glad we caught De Vita before his actions could escalate.
“The ICAIT team deals with some of the most harrowing cases of online child abuse, but we are committed to safeguarding children, who are horrifically abused in the course of offences like these, and are then later used by others for their own gratification. We will continue to prosecute those who contribute to the exploitation of children by making and sharing indecent images.”
Parents can visit the Parents Protect website, which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, for lots of useful resources to help prevent online child sexual abuse. It also contains a list of organisations and resources focusing on keeping children safe in the digital world.
The NSPCC Share Aware website also contains advice and tips about how children can keep themselves safe online.
To report concerns around child sexual abuse call the police on 101.