August 2004

Kenilworth man admits child abuse images charges

A Kenilworth property manager admitted to police he found images he had downloaded of children posing naked ‘titillating’.

Nicholas Charlton claimed he did not consider those images to be pornographic, despite having downloaded others of youngsters being sexually abused by adults.

And he escaped a custodial sentence despite being told by a judge at Warwick Crown Court that seven of the pictures would make the offence punishable by jail.

Charlton, 58, of Mountbatten Avenue, Kenilworth, had admitted ten charges of making indecent photographs of children and one of possessing 254 indecent images of children.

He was given a three-year community rehabilitation order on condition he does not work with children or seek unsupervised contact with them

He was also ordered by recorder David Jones to take part in a sex offender programme, to co-operate with any psychological assessment, to register as a sex offender for five years, to pay £578 costs and forfeit his computer.

Warwickshire police raided Charlton’s home last April after US investigations into a database which listed customers who had given credit card details to gain access to child pornography

His computer revealed 161 saved images and 93 deleted ones. The majority were level one involving children in erotic poses. But 12 showed sexual activity between or by individual children and five showed non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children.

One image was level four, showing penetrative sex between adults and children. A deleted file was level five, which is defined as sadism or bestiality

Mr Jones said: “These are disgraceful offences but he has been deeply humiliated and shamed. He has written to all his friends to tell them what he has done. I don’t think a custodial sentence is necessary.”

He then told Charlton: “What you did is not a direct abuse of the children because it has already taken place but you create a market for it. That positively encourages the pornographer, the one who is actually abusing these children, to do it more and more.”