January 2011

Teenager put on sex offenders register for being ‘addicted’ to child abuse images

A 19-year-old man has been put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years for downloading indecent images of children.

Conor Hunter, of Pendennis Road, Torquay, admitted eight counts of making indecent images of children and two counts of possessing indecent images.

Exeter Crown Court was told his offending started when he was 15.

Prosecutor Nicolas Gerasimides said the images were on disks in his stepfather’s car which was taken to a garage in November 2009. Police traced them back to the teenager who admitted accessing them on his computer. They found 1,671 images, most being the lowest level in terms of seriousness. Mitigating, Nigel Wraith said his client admitted looking at the images had become a problem and was “something of an addiction”.

Judge Stephen O’Malley said he could not remember having a defendant as young as Hunter before him. He told Hunter: “There is a sympathetic pre-sentence report which sets out how you now accept and understand these are not victimless offences.”

He imposed a community order with a two-year supervision requirement and a condition Hunter attends an internet sex offender treatment programme.