April 2013

 Stamford pervert spared jail after downloading hundreds of child abuse images

A pervert who downloaded child abuse images from the internet has been spared jail after a court heard that he had sought help.

Timothy Richards was arrested after police raided his then home in Stamford and seized computer equipment.

Jonathan Straw, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that 323 pornographic videos and still photographs of children were found on the computers along with 100 prohibited child images and 77 extreme pornographic images.

Mr Straw said: “The defendant was interviewed and made admissions. He told the officers he was pleased this had been uncovered and it would give him the opportunity to break the habit he had got into.

“He admitted he had downloaded the material for his own sexual gratification.”

Richards ,31, now of Keble Court, Stamford, admitted offences of making and possessing indecent images of children and possession of extreme pornographic images.

He was given a community order with three years supervision and is required to complete a sex offender treatment programme. He was also banned for life from working with children and placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

Judge Michael Heath told Richards, who has no previous convictions: “The community sex offender group work programme will give you the help that you require.”

Chris Milligan, defending, said “He describes being arrested as the moment when it stopped. He says he thought many times about seeking help before the police came to his house but there was no-one to go to.

“Since then he has been doing everything he can to put matters right and he has sought counselling from the NHS.

“It was obsessive behaviour. He was sitting at the computer for hour after hour and not sleeping.”

Mr Milligan said that since his arrest Richards has separated from his wife.