February 2015

Computer programmer who downloaded indecent images of children as young as six spared jail

A computer programmer who downloaded indecent images of children as young as six has been spared jail.

David Vaughan was brought to justice following a police raid on his home in Codsall.

Stafford Crown Court heard officers found numerous pieces of computer equipment during the raid on November 8, 2013, which were sent off for forensic examination.

In total, 244 still images and 53 movies of children, predominantly boys, were found on the devices, said Mr Robert Edwards, prosecuting.

There were 90 photos of the most serious nature, Category A,

64 in Category B

and 90 in Category C.

Of the movies, 39 were Category A and 14 Category B.

When questioned, Vaughan said he was a self-employed computer programmer and the illicit material had probably been transferred from other people’s computers on to his own and he was not attracted to the images.

But when he was shown transcripts of chatroom logs he had taken part in, he said it was ‘only fantasy to pass the time of day’.

Vaughan, aged 63, of Lane Green Road, Codsall, admitted two charges of making indecent images of children.

He was given a three-year community order with a condition of undergoing a sex offender treatment programme. He was also ordered to pay £1,200 costs.

Judge Michael Challinor told him: “Members of the public think that people who download or access images of children being sexually abused should go to prison for a fairly lengthy period and you can see how they feel that way – most people are revolted. But there is a great difference in terms of seriousness between a person who abuses and photographs such abuse and those who distribute it and people like you who access it for their own sexual gratification.

“If I were to send you to prison, it would be a relatively short period. What you need is to be on a course which will turn you away from this behaviour.

“I don’t regard you as a sexual predator, you are a lonely and socially isolated man who fell in to the temptation of accessing this material. I am satisfied you have learned your lesson.”

Mr Jason Patel, defending, said Vaughan had no previous convictions.