September 2007

Man spared jail fter child porn found in home

A MAN found with almost 350 pornographic photographs of children on his computer during a transatlantic police operation has been spared jail to help his rehabilitation.

Andrew Carter, 20, was yesterday given a suspended jail sentence after he admitted a series of charges of possessing and making indecent images.

Carter was also ordered to undergo two years of probation service supervision and complete a nine-month internet sex offenders’ treatment programme.

Judge Peter Armstrong also ordered him to sign on the sex offenders’ register for seven years and banned him from working with children for five years.

An order banning Carter from having unsupervised access with under-18s and owning a computer was also imposed.

Carter, from Stockton, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of making indecent photographs and one of possessing 326 similar pictures between November 2005 and June last year.

A court heard how his former home in Durham Road was raided after a tip-off from Canadian police, who were investigating internet-based sexual offences. As part of the operation, officers posed as users of internet chat-rooms called KiddiePix and KiddieVids and monitored suspects across the world.

On June 28, last year, they became suspicious about a person logged on as Jenna and traced the user to the address in Durham Road that Carter shared with his family.

The computer was seized and Carter was later arrested and admitted downloading pictures of teenagers and indecent images of much younger children.

Rupert Doswell, in mitigation, said Carter was classed by probation workers as a medium risk, but said it was unlikely that he would reoffend if he received treatment.

Carter, of Shaftsbury Street, had his six-month sentence in a young offenders’ institution suspended for two years at Teesside Crown Court.

Judge Armstrong told him: “The offences cross the custody threshold. However, the number of images is not enormous -although it is not insubstantial -and you have no previous convictions.

“From what I have read about you in the pre-sentence report, you have some insight into your problem of having an interest in child pornography and it is just possible to avoid an immediate custodial sentence.”