A former crewmember of Cunard Cruise line was sentenced on Friday in Swindon Crown Court to four years behind bars for sexually assaulting children who were in his care, while he was employed by Cunard. Paul Trotter of West Yorkshire was given the four-year sentence, with another four years of probation when released. He will have to be listed on the sex offenders registry for his lifetime and once released will be banned from working anywhere he may interact with children.
The charges Trotter received stemmed from incidents 13 boys who were between the ages of 7 and 13 at the time of the crimes. He also was charged with the possession of nearly 1,000 photos of children who were nude or semi-nude. The prosecutors said that Trotter took videos of himself spanking the young boys and then used the films for his own sexual gratification.
Peter Shanks, the president of Cunard released a statement after Trotter was sentenced. In the statement, Shanks said the Cunard would continue to support the families that were affected.
The cruise line also said it was implementing recommendations from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Britain, to ensure that every possible safeguard is in place for the children on their cruise lines. The line also said that an annual audit would be done of the procedures the line has for protecting children.
In April, Trotter pleaded guilty to 12 counts of child abuse including assault and taking indecent photos of children during his work on three ships owned by Cunard. The incidents took place between 2007 and 2011, when police were tipped off about his actions.