March 2013

Bishop Auckland man jailed for ‘collection’ of child abuse images

A MAN who downloaded child abuse images from the internet neatly categorised the offending material, a court was told.

Police analysis of computer equipment seized from Lee Ramsey’s home, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, on June 12, last year, revealed a “collection” of 11,540 indecent images of children.

Durham Crown Court was told they were systematically stored into folders, each under a title name.

But, Jane Mitford, prosecuting, said file sharing software gave others access to 540 of the images.

“The prosecution can’t say he has actually distributed any images, but the mere fact he had this software made them available for distribution, meaning there could have been zero or many thousands of people sharing the images stored on his system.”

She said many were in lower levels of severity for such material, but 15 in the file sharing site were in the second most serious category.

Ramsey, of Cambridge Court, admitted 16 counts of making, one of possessing and one of distributing indecent photographs of children.

Ben Pegman, mitigating, said: “It was never his intention that other people would have access, but it’s a strict liability offence because they were in a file sharing site.

“He was in a downward spiral, seeking solace in drink and going onto the internet accessing these images.

“He felt guilt about what he was doing and it was something of a relief when police knocked at his door.”

Judge Brian Forster jailed Ramsey for a year. He was forbidden from ever working with children and was made subject of registration as a sex offender for ten years.

Judge Forster also imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order restricting Ramsey’s internet access for the next five years.