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, is 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.

Police raided an address in Chelmsford and several electronic devices were seized, including virtual reality headsets. 

Jones was released on bail but further arrested yesterday, following a report of a man taking images of children.

He has since 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.

He has been remanded into custody and due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates today.

Detective Inspector Emma Portfleet said: “These charges demonstrate the work POLIT do every day to protect vulnerable children.

“This is the first time that our team have discovered these types of images on virtual reality headsets as part of our enquiries.

“Our team is adapting, and technology develops in order to stay one step ahead of perpetrators and keep people safe.

“Enquiries for this investigation remain ongoing.”