Febuary 2011

Burnley dad downloaded child porn images

A NEW dad who downloaded internet child porn had an image of babies with details on how to abuse young children, a court heard.

Former computer worker, Andrew Halsted, 29, who has a baby daughter, got sexual gratification from looking at obscene pictures of schoolgirls, many of them “very young.”

When police turned up to raid his Burnley home after finding him out through a Croatian website, they discovered hundreds of stills and video clips of children, the town’s crown court was told.

Halsted, who sobbed as the hearing was told how social services had now become involved in the care of his little girl after what he had done,admitted 13 charges of making an indecent image of a child, between February 2008 and December 2009.

The defendant, of Moore Street, had no previous convictions.

Judge Jonathan Gibson told Halsted he had to consider what was the best option for the long term protection of children and the community generally.

He said what the defendant had done crossed the custody threshold, but added: “It seems to me rehabilitative intervention is the appropriate order for me to make.”

Halsted was given a three year community order with supervision and must attend the internet sex offender programme. He also received a sex offences prevention order, restricting his use of the internet.

He must not use or own a computer or other device with internet access, unless it has software to prevent access to child porn. The defendant was put on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

Sarah Statham, prosecuting, said officers found three video images at level five, 35 videos and two stills at level four, 20 images at levels two and three and 297 stills at level one. Many of the images featured young girls under 13 and one showed babies with details on how to go about abusing young children.

Philip Holden, for Halsted, said: “As a result of his arrest, the social services has become involved in the care of his child. He tell me his girlfriend and daughter had to move out of the family home and move in with his girlfriend’s parents.”