March 2012

Barry Brooks Jailed For ‘Horrific’ Child Abuse Images

A registered sex offender has been jailed for eight months after “horrific” images of child abuse were found on his computer.

Unemployed Barry Brooks had already received a police caution for possession of indecent images of children in 2009 when he was arrested following an intelligence-led investigation by the Paedophile On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT) of Sussex Police.

The 63-year-old, of Chiltern Drive, Hastings, East Sussex, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of making indecent images of children, four of possession of extreme images, and four of possessing a banned image of a child and was jailed at Hove Crown Court on Friday.

He was also given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) and he will be on the sex offenders register for 10 years when he leaves prison, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

Brooks is not believed to have contacted any children and none of the children in the images are believed to be from the Hastings area, he added.

Recorder Simon Crookenden QC described the images as “horrific” as he sentenced Brooks.

Detective Constable Jackie Keogh, from Sussex Police, said: “There was no evidence that Brooks had shared the images with anyone else, but it has to be remembered that every such image is of a child being abused, and every acquisition of them via the internet simply encourages their continued existence and supply.

“In this case we were particularly concerned that Brooks already had a previous police caution for possession of indecent images of children in 2009, and was therefore a registered sex offender at the time of his latest offending.

“In this current case he had more than 1,500 indecent images of children, including some exceptionally serious ones.
“We will continue to follow up all such reports and to bring offenders before the courts whenever possible.”

Jon Brown, head of strategy for sexual abuse at the NSPCC, said: “We would echo the point made by the police that whilst he did not contact or abuse children himself, each photograph represents a terrible act and the ultimate betrayal of trust between an adult and a child.

“Each time someone views a child abuse image they add to that act and encourage it to happen again in the future.

“Whilst within the guidelines, many people will still question if eight months is a sufficient sentence for such a serious crime.

“This was a second offence so he clearly has not been prepared to change his behaviour and must receive treatment to ensure he is not a risk to children on his release. He must also be monitored and never allowed to work with children.”