May 2011

Man jailed after downloading child abuse images

A GRAVESEND man searched for pornographic images of children, grannies, lesbians and a horse after suffering sexual difficulties with his wife, a court heard.

Alan Church, aged 50, of Bartlett Road, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court today to a total of eight months in prison after admitting to five counts of possessing indecent pornographic images.

Police found 139 video clips and 13 still images of children on Church’s home computer in June last year, as well as images depicting a sex act being performed on a horse.

Prosecutor Keith Yardy told the court how Church would download pornography for sexual stimulation while his wife was at work.

Mr Yardy said Church told police that he started out searching for adult pornography before searching for the term PTHC which relates to child pornography.

Mr Yardy said: “He started off searching for movies when his wife was at work. He said he didn’t always look at what he downloaded, and those he did look at he did not view all the way through.

“He said he didn’t know why he looked at them, he just did.”

Defending Church, Christina Rowberry said Church had become “desensitized” to the extreme nature of the images.

She said: “The images and downloading of pornography in general occurred when there were sexual difficulties between himself and his wife.”

Miss Rowberry said Church’s wife, who was not in court, was unaware that her husband was downloading anything from the internet.

Judge Philip Statman was shown a selection of the images downloaded by Church before deciding on his jail sentence.

He sentenced Church to an eight month concurrent sentence, of which he will serve half, as well as a sexual offenders prevention order for five years.

Church will also appear on the sexual offenders register for 10 years.

Sentencing, Judge Statman said: “In the comfort of your own home you have downloaded many clips and stills of acts of horrendous sexual abuse being practised on children by adults.

“I have seen a selection of that which you downloaded. The faces of those young children are haunting. They display no emotion as they are being abused. They have no-one to turn to.

“And you downloaded those images for your own sexual gratification.”

Judge Statman said that testimonies about Church from his friends and family commended him as a “kind, generous person”.

He added: “You have brought shame upon yourself and your family.

“The impact of what you have done has had a devastating effect on your wife who has stayed by you to her humongous credit.”