February 2015

Pervert sent on a sex offenders’ course after he used his neighbour’s broadband to download hundreds of images of child abuse

Paul Baker piggy backed on the wi-fi signal of his next door neighbour in Topsham while they were abroad in Sweden and used it to seek out extreme images.

He was found after a website showing child abuse received so many hits from all around the world that it caused the web host to crash after just two days.

The company alerted the police who found it had been accessed by paedophiles from 136 different countries including 3,336 from Britain alone.

They were traced through their internet addresses with the result that Baker’s completely innocent next door neighbour was targeted by police.

He was traced to Sweden and told officers he had given Baker permission to use his broadband because he claimed he could not afford his own.

Baker, aged 55, of Pound Lane, Topsham, admitted four counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme images of adults having sex with pigs, horses and dogs.

He was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years and ordered to attend an internet sex offenders’ treatment programme as part of two years supervision by Judge Phillip Wassall at Exeter Crown Court.

The Judge told him:”The majority of the images were in the more serious bands and there were images of extreme pornography in addition to the abusive images.

“I am suspending the sentence because it is important you are given the opportunity to engage with supervision and adapt your offending behaviour.

“This will enable you to develop boundaries. The whole purpose is to challenge your beliefs and attitudes to ensure you do not offend again.”

Mr Sean Brunton, prosecuting, said Baker’s offences came to light as the result of computers crashing at a web hosting firm in June 2011.

Engineers found the problem was demand for files which were found to contain child abuse images. Baker’s neighbour was traced as one of 3,336 addresses in Britain.

Mr Brunton said Baker was traced after police discovered the IP address holder was living in Sweden and police raided his home seized computers, DVDs and videos.

There were 81 images at the worst category, showing child rape, and 284 at lower categories. There were also 56 extreme images showing adults having sex with animals.

Search terms recovered from the computer showed an interest in pre-teens and he told police he had a huge interest in pornography dating back 30 years and had downloaded the child images inadvertently.

Mr David Sapiecha, defending, said Baker was suitable for treatment and was assessed by probation officers as being at low risk of reoffending if he received it.

He said:”He is not somebody who is cynically trying to avoid responsibility. He admits downloading and accepts he is 100 per cent responsible.

“He is someone who had an interest in pornography and has slipped into downloading child pornography rather than looking for it.”