May 2012

16,000 Internet porn pictures Leeds man jailed

A pervert who superimposed images of himself on to pictures of young children being sexually abused has been jailed.

Convicted sex offender Howard Lawson also digitally altered images of a young victim he had previously sexually assaulted on to images he had downloaded from the internet.

Officers made the discovery among more than 15,000 illegal images found on computers seized from his home in Leeds.

Yesterday a judge told Lawson, of Consort View, Belle Vue, Leeds, that it was his public duty to send him to prison.

Jailing him for 10 months, he said: “It is a further aggravating feature in your case that using your computer knowledge, you superimposed your younger face on to the face of the perpetrators of these vile images.”

He added: “It is accepted by you, that downloading these images for your own sexual gratification contributed to the degradation and suffering of these children.”

Lawson pleaded guilty to 21 charges related to possession of indecent images of children. He was arrested at his home in August 2009 after West Yorkshire Police were informed he had accessed an extreme website based in Croatia.

More than 15,000 illegal images and movies were discovered in total.

A total of 2,070 images were at level four and 225 were at level five, the two most serious categories.

After his arrest he told officers that he had a sexual interest in children for a number of years.

He described his initial conduct as “titillation” but said he then became “hooked” on downloading the images.

Lawson was convicted of indecently assaulting a girl aged under 14 in 1997.

Nick Worsley, for Lawson, told an earlier hearing at Leeds Crown Court that his client suffered from a rare genetic disease which affects just five families in the UK.

Mr Worsley said the condition caused eyesight to deteriorate and Lawson would be totally blind in around five years.

The barrister said Lawson had not committed further offences since his arrest and had suffered from stress as a result of the sentence hanging over him for almost three years.

But sentencing Lawson yesterday, The judge said: “I have thought long and hard about your case but I have come to the conclusion that, not withstanding everything I have heard about you, my public duty requires me to impose an immediate sentence of imprisonment.”

May 2012

Leeds pervert ‘hooked on child porn’

A sex offender superimposed images of a young victim he had indecently assaulted onto vile pictures of children he downloaded from the internet.

Leeds Crown Court heard Howard Lawson, 63, also digitally altered pictures to include himself in illegal images which were found on computers seized from his home in Leeds.

Lawson, of Consort Walk, Belle Vue, was arrested at his home in August 2009 after West Yorkshire Police were informed he had accessed an extreme website based in Croatia. More than 15,000 illegal images and movies were discovered in total.

The court heard a total of 2,070 images were at level four and 225 were at level five, the two most serious categories.

After his arrest he told officers that he had a sexual interest in children for a number of years. He described his initial conduct as “titillation” but said he then became “hooked” on downloading the images.

The court heard Lawson was convicted of indecently assaulting a girl aged under 14 in 1997. Among the images found were pictures of his victim which had been manipulated onto the images he had downloaded. Other doctored images included pictures of himself.

Nick Worsley, for Lawson, said his client suffered from a rare genetic disease which affects just five families in the UK. Mr Worsley said the condition caused eyesight to deteriorate and Lawson would be totally blind in around five years.

The barrister said Lawson had not committed further offences since his arrest and had suffered from stress as a result of the sentence hanging over him for almost three years. He urged judge Geoffrey Marson QC to impose a community punishment so Lawson could receive treatment toaddress his offending.

The judge adjourned the sentence until tomorrow to give the case further consideration. Lawson was bailed until then.

The judge told him: “I want to emphasise to you that in granting you bail it is no indication as to the sentence I shall impose. Immediate custody is at the forefront of my mind.”