October 2005

Churchgoer guilty of child porn offences

A CHURCHGOER who admitted downloading more than 650 indecent images of children had ‘lived his life as a lie’, a court heard.

Barrie Parsons, 54, of Baguley Avenue, Widnes, was given a community order and ordered to pay £500 costs at Warrington Crown Court on Friday after being found to have downloaded 679 images in 2003.

Police were able to trace Parsons after inquiries revealed his subscription to a site where images of child pornography were available.

The court heard that Parsons denied being in possession of any images when he was arrested but, although the files had been deleted, officers were able to recover many of the images from his CD Rom.

Parsons, who was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years, told police he became curious after seeing publicity of such websites on television but didn’t like what he found and deleted the images.

Defending, Simon Berkson told the court that Parsons was seen as a ‘church-going, upstanding member of the community’ who had ‘lived his life as something of a lie’ in keeping his homosexuality hidden from those who knew him.

The court was also told Parsons had taken part in an internet sex game with a 15-year-old boy and another man who was never identified.

Summing up, Judge David Hale told Parsons: “You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself. This sort of thing must never happen again. If it does you will go to prison.”

l In a separate case, Yan Ming Chan of Poplar Close, Runcorn, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to downloading more than 27,000 indecent images of children.