March 2003

CHILD ABUSE IMAGES MAN SHAME

AN obsessed internet surfer who downloaded child porn from a website has been jailed for six months.

Stephen Berry, 52, of Broad View, Ossett, was arrested at his home on November 13 last year after police received information from the FBI as part of Operation Ore, the international crackdown on internet perverts who use their credit cards to access child porn on the web.

Prosecuting, Stephen Gration told Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court Berry, pictured, had 100 indecent images of children as young as seven on his computer.

But, he added, there was no link between Stephen Berry’s charges and those of his son Paul, who pleaded guilty to possessing 8,000 indecent images of children and is awaiting sentence at Leeds Crown Court.

Mitigating, Simon Lindley said his client had been depressed and had taken up surfing the internet obsessively.

He added: “This activity occurred after a separation from his partner, difficulties relating to employment and lack of income, plus he had a depressive illness which pervaded his character at that time.”

Mr Lindley added since Berry had been before the courts he had received a number of threatening and abusive letters and phone calls at his home.

He added: “The loss of his good character and standing in the community, loss of employment and respect from his peers has been manifested in him and he regrets this incident.”

Sentencing Berry, bench chairman Susan Sowden described the images as abhorrent.

Berry, who had pleaded guilty to 20 charges of possessing indecent pictures of children at an earlier appearance, was sentenced to six months imprisonment and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years.