One of Britain’s most respected pilots and former Red Arrows ace has admitted to possessing indecent images of children. Andrew Cubin MBE, 59, appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court – which heard he had now changed his name to Andrew Lloyd.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images of a child – 48 of them in the most serious category. During a 20-year career in the Royal Air Force, when he was known as Andy “Cubes” Cubin, he flew in the Red Arrows.
Prosecutor Keith Ballinger said Wiltshire Police launched an investigation after receiving reports of an IP address being used to upload images to the internet. He said: ‘The IP address was found to belong to an address in Malmesbury. Officers attended the address on February 17 last year and arrested Mr Lloyd.’
Speaking in the case on Tuesday, Mr Ballinger said the defendant told officers ‘you can take my laptop, I used it’, before saying ‘I deleted all the footage’ .
Various items were seized from the property of Kings Meadow, Crudwell, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, including the laptop. Forensic analysis revealed a number of indecent images of children – some were photos and some were videos.
The court heard that 48 Category A images had been found – all involving children engaging in penetrative sex. 39 category B images – which show non-penetrative sexual activity with a child – were discovered, and 10 category C images were also found. He made a full confession During an interview in police custody, the court heard.
In 2016, he told how he and his wife fought in vain to save their tragic 14-year-old daughter, who died suddenly at a sleepover. Mr Ballinger said in an interview that Lloyd made reference to his daughter. Although defense attorney Nicholas Wragg chimed in, saying, “Is it really necessary?” – having led the prosecutor not to pursue his summary of the interview in police custody.
Lloyd, now from Wood Close, Windsor, was told he had to register as a sex offender at Bracknell Police Station within 72 hours. Magistrates returned the case to Swindon Crown Court for trial on May 6. A pre-sentence report was ordered.
“You will be returned to Swindon Crown Court to be sentenced. These offenses are so serious that you need a heavier sentence than we can impose,” the bench chairman remarked.
Lloyd was released on absolute bail. He flew in the Red Arrows as Red 6, which leads the pair in sync.
Before qualifying as a fast jet instructor, he flew Jaguars and Hawks. The pilot boasts of having completed more than 500 demonstration flights across the UK, after which he would meet and greet the public.
Since leaving the RAF in 2002, he has worked for some of the world’s largest airlines as a captain, flying the Airbus A321, A320 and A319. Lloyd also flies aerobatic aircraft for a company.
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