July 2013

Suspended sentence for ‘addict’ with 700 child abuse images

A forklift truck driver who had more than 700 indecent images of children has received a suspended sentence.

An image involving bestiality was also found on the computer of Richard Scott, of Blandford Road, Whitley, a court heard.

The 54-year-old claimed to have stumbled upon the images which were contained on an innocent website which had been hacked in to. But the judge at Reading Crown Court said he believed Scott had deliberately found the “disgusting” images of children who were clearly under the age of 18.

The court heard police arrested Scott at his home on April 10, last year, and took his Dell computer.

Detectives traced him through his visits to the website.

Michael Harrison, prosecuting, said: “He was interviewed and admitted he was addicted to adult pornography and one day, while viewing that, he went to a link and found indecent images of children and when he realised what it was he shut the computer down.”

However, he continued to visit the site and detectives found 722 indecent images of children on his computer ranging from the least to the most serious involving bestiality.

Janetta Davies, defending, told the court: “What he told police was he had stumbled upon an image by accident and deleted it immediately.

“Then it became a strange fascination and something he couldn’t stop going back to look at over a period of two years.”

She said the divorced father had worked for a large company as a forklift driver for 23 years and had no previous convictions or cautions.

Judge Peter Ross, sentencing on Tuesday, June 18, said: “I have to deal with you for offences which are rightly regarded by the general public as disgusting.”

He continued: “Around the world, in order to satisfy the perverted desires of people like you, children are abused and that abuse is recorded and the internet, regrettably, makes these images available to the likes of you.

“It has been put before me you stumbled upon these images. No, you didn’t. You clearly were one of a trusted few people who were given the opportunity to access an innocent website which had been hacked and on that site had been placed images of child abuse.

“That demonstrates an additional sophistication in relation to these offences which I have yet to see before me in the course of my work and that is sitting as a judge or recorder for 14 years.”

However, Judge Ross said he had to take into account Scott’s previous good character and his early guilty plea.

He sentenced Scott to six months’ jail suspended for two years under supervision. He ordered him to pay a £5,000 fine, £340 costs and a victim surcharge of £80 and required him to sign the sex offenders register for five years.