April 2013

Middlesbrough porn addict ‘desensitised’ to extreme images, court told

A WAREHOUSEMAN became desensitised to extreme pornography and child abuse pictures after spending hours a night looking at it.

John Blanchard, 41, was said to have become “hooked” on the filth as he trawled the internet looking for increasingly depraved images.

Among the vile photographs and short films found on Blanchard’s computer were naked children as young as eight, a court heard today (Monday, April 15).

There were also dozens of examples of adults having sex with animals – which is classed as extreme pornography by the authorities.

Blanchard was spared prison when he appeared at TeessideCrown Court after a judge heard he had never before been in trouble.

Judge Peter Armstrong described the pervert as living an “isolated” life and someone who used the internet for “entertainment”.

Blanchard was given a six-month suspended jail sentence with supervision and was ordered to go on a sex offender treatment course.

He was ordered to pay £450 costs, will have to sign on the sex offenders’ register, and he was also banned from working with children.

Judge Armstrong said: “Fortunately you didn’t distribute the child images, otherwise you would have to go to prison straight away.

“The image I have of you is that you were an isolated person, using the internet for entertainment, and then, out of curiosity, coming across these images and then getting hooked on watching them for hours at a time.”

Dan Cordey, mitigating, said Blanchard progressed from looking at adult pornography to more serious images, usually in the early hours.

“He would look at them out of curiosity and he stumbled across pictures and videos of children who were clearly underage.

“He would say he began to look for pornography and got to the stage where, he now accepts, he became desensitised,” said Mr Cordey.

“Sometimes it would be three- or four-hour sessions looking at pornography and he got to the stage where he was unable to differentiate between what was acceptable and what was not.”

Blanchard, of Sycamore Crescent, Middlesbrough, admitted making an possessing indecent images of children and possessing extreme pornography and prohibited images.

At an earlier magistrates court hearing, Blanchard, who worked for a big DIY chain, was described as being addicted to pornography.

Police searched the home he shared with his parents after receiving information that a computer there was accessing illegal websites