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Paedophile avoids jail despite being caught for third time with child abuse images
A paedophile has avoided prison despite being caught with sickening indecent images of children for a third time.
Stacey Battensby, 53, found himself back in familiar territory – the dock at Truro Crown Court – to be sentenced for his latest act of perversion.
Battensby, who divides his time between his mother’s house in Perranwell Station and his fiancé’s in St Austell, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children and four breaches of a sexual harm prevention order.
Prosecuting the case, Sam Castlehouse explained how Battensby was given non-custodial sentences for similar offences in 2009 and 2010.
In October 2018 Battensby was visited by his police offender manager and a search of his internet history revealed he’d been searching for terms linked to child abuse.
His phone was seized and found to contain 16 Category A images and six movies, 59 Category B images and five movies and 681 Category C images and two movies.
The majority depicted children aged between seven and ten.
Representing Battensby, Chris Andrews remarked that the number of Category A was relatively small and that in 2016 Battensby started accessing adult pornography and chat rooms and gradually that drifted to cartoons of children and then actual child abuse images.
Mr Andrews added that Battensby, a landscape gardener, is the carer for his 77-year-old mother and that his fiancé has “got a grip of him” and told him accessing indecent images has to stop. Battensby was also said to have no internet access or smart phone.
Sentencing Battensby, Recorder John Trevaskis said: “Looking at your record it’d be very easy to say three strikes and you’re out.
“But I’ve been encouraged to dig a little deeper and there is a positive presentation of a man who made efforts to avoid reoffending and has not been in court for eight years.
Recorder Trevaskis went onto note how he was encouraged by Battensby’s relationship with his fiancé, the absence of any device in his possession capable of accessing the internet and the fact he cares for his mother who relies on him.
Battensby was given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years and made subject of a new sexual harm prevention order.
400 indecent images of children on mobile
Gardener Stacey Battensby downloaded 400 indecent images of children onto his mobile phone, Truro Crown Court heard.
Battensby was given a chance to complete an internet sex offenders’ programme when he appeared before Recorder Martin Meeke QC on Friday.
The programme was part of a sentence imposed on Battensby, 42, for similar offences in January last year.
But, said defence solicitor, Fred Howell, it had not begun when Battensby downloaded more images last October.
He had since attended sessions regularly and was reported to be benefiting.
Battensby, of Grenna Lane, Perranwell Station, had earlier admitted 24 charges of possession of images and one breach of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order imposed last year.
Prosecutor Jo Martin said the images covered the whole range of seriousness.
When interviewed Battensby admitted offending and swapping images with friends, and accepted he was in breach of the order.
Recorder Meeke imposed a 52-week prison sentence suspended for two years, with a three-month curfew, from 8pm to 6am seven days a week.
The SOPO was extended from the original five years to an unlimited period, and Battensby must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for ten years.
The Recorder allowed the original community order to continue.