Sick lonely nurse blames stress of Covid for turning her into a paedophile

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    A sick and twisted paedophile nurse has blamed the stress and loneliness of working on a Covid-19 ward for her crimes.

    Rebecca Ruler, who ran a respiratory ward, collected sick child abuse images and published sexual articles about children and babies online for other paedophiles.

    The 32-year-old was handed a suspended prison sentence, and has been struck from the nursing register by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, heard a court.

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    According to LancsLive, Peter Barr, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court Ruler that between April 2021 and April 2022, Ruler downloaded 151 Category A child abuse pictures, along with a further 101 at Category B and 134 Category C images.

    She also created five obscene articles in an internet chat with five paedophiles – which she claimed she only wrote to impress a man who she was in an online relationship with.

    But Mr Barr said: "It was she who initiated the discussions by expressing her sexual interest in children. There was no evidence of coercion."

    Kim Obrusik, defending, told the court Ruler had been on the frontline of the Covid crisis, working as a ward manager at Royal Bolton Hospital.

    She said Ruler had mild depression which was aggravated by her work, as she saw patients she had cared for dying alone, without their family or friends, on a daily basis.

    "As we come out of the pandemic it is easy to forget the horrors of what was occurring. The demands, both physically and emotionally, can not be quantified.

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    "She encouraged the contact from males in respect of these types of discussions as she realised this was a way to receive male attention", Ms Obrusik said.

    "She was feeling that she would never gain any sexual interest from males and this is how she got that interest."

    Ruler, of Springfield Road, Coppull, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images and five counts of publishing an obscene article.

    Sentencing, Judge Gioserano said: “You are not being sentenced for distorted thinking or depraved thinking in itself. You are being sentenced for acting on that thinking by downloading indecent images and engaging in messaging about the sadistic and sexual abuse of very young children.

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    "I have assessed the risk that your messages could have depraved and corrupted others that might have read them. It is possible that the recipients could have shared your messages with other paedophiles but that was not your intention. There was no intention that your messaging, as depraved as it was, should go beyond the five people in the chat.”

    They added: "This is not a court of morals. I am not here to judge that. But you moved from that sort of contact to active criminal contact with paedophiles. Even if the distortion in your thinking could somehow be explained by the emotional toll of your work at the time, I can not see how that can mitigate your offending."

    He handed Ruler a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered her to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

    She must also complete 35 days of rehabilitation activities including a one-to-one sex offenders course and has been made subject to a five-year sexual harm prevention order and 10 years on the sex offenders' register.

    If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website,

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