A children’s summer camp director charged with the possession of indecent images of minors appeared in court on Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing, writes Fiona Leckerman.
Ben Lewis, 25, from Borehamwood, was arrested earlier this month after LL Camps, which he runs, was closed down “with immediate effect” and had its registration suspended by Ofsted.
He was due to appear via video link at St Albans Crown Court however the broadcast did not work so the hearing took place without him.
Lewis remains detained in Bedford as police continue their investigation. He is next due to appear in court on 23 October to submit a plea.
It was noted by the judge that access to various electronic devices will be vital to the investigation. An Apple Mac laptop and an iPhone had been reset to factory settings, thereby erasing their contents.
Lewis’s father was in attendance throughout.
A police statement issued following the arrest said: “Specialist officers and staff from Hertfordshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire County Council remain involved to handle any specific concerns of parents and any other information relevant to this enquiry.”
Parents were informed in an email that LL camps, based in Bushey and offering full-day activities throughout the summer, would be closed “with immediate effect”.
Lewis’ camp co-director Tal Landsman later wrote to parents. He said: “I will not be commenting on the charges because of the risk of prejudicing a fair trial. All I can say is that I was totally unaware of the background to the charges and was in no way involved in any alleged incident.
“I am really sorry that this has caused inconvenience and disruption. Naturally he [Ben Lewis] is no longer involved in the running of LL and I am seeking professional help to ensure the least financial disruption.”
He added: “I want to thank you for your continued patience through this difficult time. I am working hard with the relevant parties and will update as soon as we have further information. “Thank you for all your messages of support and we sincerely look forward to working with you in the future.”