June 2013

Pervert had 46,000 child abuse ‘images’

PERVERT Stephen Smith who viewed thousands of indecent images of children has been spared jail.

The 30-year-old downloaded 46,071 still images, 287 moving images and also had 19 extreme pornographic images on his computer.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard how the youngest children appeared to be around four years old.

Prosecutor David Bennett said Smith’s offending came to light when police searched his home, above the Bulls Head pub in Lad Lane, Newcastle, on June 13 last year.

Mr Bennett said: “Police began looking around. The defendant entered his bedroom and police noted he turned off his desk top computer.

“A laptop was recovered from a drawer in the bar area in the pub. The computers were analysed and most images were easily accessible.”

From the main computer police found 44,491 indecent images at level one; 501 at level two; 385 at level three; 642 at level four and 52 at level five – the most serious.

They also recovered 47 level one movies; 46 at level two; 28 level three movies; 159 at level four; and seven level five.

And from the laptop, officers recovered two images at level three and three at level four.

Mr Bennett added: “The youngest children appeared to be about four years of age.”

Smith, now of Victoria Street, Chesterton, pleaded guilty to 12 offences of making indecent photographs of children and one charge of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Scott Ashdown, mitigating, said Smith lived alone in the flat above the pub.

“He accepts he did form an unsavoury and unhealthy interest in this type of material which led to him downloading the images,” said Mr Ashdown. “They were never intended to be distributed and he never made them available to another.”

Mr Ashdown said Smith will have to live with the stigma attached to such convictions for the rest of his life. He added that the paedophile, who has no previous convictions, has already taken steps to minimise the risk of temptation by not owning a computer or mobile phone.

Judge David Fletcher said Smith would not benefit from any courses if he sent him to jail.

Instead he sentenced him to a maximum three year community order with supervision, a requirement to complete the community sex offenders’ group work programme and 200 hours in unpaid work.

He was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, to run until further order, and he will be on the sex offenders’ register for seven years. He must also pay £600 costs.

Judge Fletcher told Smith: “The pictures you were looking at were not mannequins or dolls, they were human boys. If it wasn’t for people like you, viewing images on the internet, there would be no market for them.

“It is people like you who are directly responsible for the taking of these sort of images.”