August 2015

Pervert tried to claim interest in child abuse images was artistic

A TRURO man found with indecent images of children on his computer tried to claim that his interest in them was artistic.

Tim Butterfield, 41, of Parkins Terrace, also had ‘awful’ illegal indecent andsexual images involving animals, Truro Crown Court heard.

Andrew Maitland, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said police searched Butterfield’s home on February 10, 2014, as a result of a domestic issue with the lady he had then been living with.

Indecent images of children and animals were found on his computer along with evidence that he had been searching for similar material.

The court heard the images of children were at category C – the least serious – on the scale used to categorise such images.

The pornography which involved animals was described by Judge Graham Cottle as being “just about as awful as it can get”.

In interview, Butterfiled admitted downloading the material.

“He rather hid behind the excuse that he thought his interest in children was an artistic one rather than sexual,” said Mr Maitland, who added that the claim was “simply not accepted by the prosecution”.

He added: “[Butterfield] did not seem to think there was much wrong with what he had been doing.”

At an earlier hearing, Butterfield pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing indecent images of and three of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Brian Fitzherbert, for the defence, said Butterfield acknowledged a sexual interest in children but that it was not uncommon for defendants to appear before the court after viewing images of youngsters which depicted serious crime scenes.

He said his client struggled with mental health problems.

“He is a man, who now having made some progress in accepting what he was doing, who can be treated,” said Mr Fitzherbert.

Sentencing, Judge Cottle said: “It may be that the intervention of the police prevented you from enlarging the area of interest that you undoubtedly had in young children, enlarging it beyond simply viewing indecent images of children in category C.”

Butterfield was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to carry out the internet sex offenders’ programme.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and told to sign the sex offender’s register for seven years.