March 2015

Wallasey man jailed for downloading child abuse images

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A Wirral man who downloaded disgusting child abuse images despite having been on an intensive course to prevent such behaviour received a lengthy jail sentence today.

Andrew Contento was given a three year community order and had a Sexual Offences Prevention Order imposed in 2009 for downloading indecent images of children.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that conditions of the order included not possessing phones or other devices which could access the internet or take photographs.

Chris Taylor prosecuting said on October 23 last year he was stopped by police while driving in Bromborough and as he appeared nervous he was suspected of possessing drugs.

He was searched and none were found but he had two mobile phones and a police computer check revealed details of the SOPO banning such possession.

His home in Borough Road, Wallasey, was searched and a camera was found in his bedroom along with another mobile phone and adult porn DVDs. They also found a list of porn web sites, girls clothing and photographs of babies being bathed.

When the phones were analysed he was found to have downloaded a total of 303 child porn images and it was shown he had used them to access internet sites.

Mr Taylor said: “Asked if he had a problem he said ‘yes’ and admitted he needed help.”

Contento, 46, pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images, one of possessing such images and another of breaching the SOPO.

Imposing a four year two month sentence, comprising 32 months imprisonment with an extended licence of 18 months, Judge Brian Lewis said, “You pose a high risk of serious harm to the public and particularly pre-pubescent girls.”

He ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and imposed a Sexual Harm Offences Order restricting his internet access.

Judge Lewis said that when he was sentenced in 2009 at Mold he had been dealt with sympathetically but he had gone on to commit further identical offences. “You have completely disregarded the provisions of the SOPO.”

John Ballam, defending, said that Contento has been in prison on remand for five months and has had time to reflect on his behaviour.

“He accepts he made a terrible decision and is ashamed of what he has done and accepts his punishment.”

He said that Contento’s mum had bought him a phone with a camera and internet access, which he should not have been in possession of but he lacked the strength to control himself.

Mr Ballam added: “He needs assistance and counselling.”