April 2016

Man ‘fuelled grotesque child abuse’

AN OLDHAM man helped fuel the “grotesque” sexual abuse of young girls by downloading child abuse pictures on the internet, a court was told.

Police found almost 170 images of children aged as young as six on Colin Bland’s computer, after executing a search warrant at his home on the Holts estate in November.

Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court heard the majority were in the lesser B and C categories, but 18 pictures, including one of an adult having sex with a six-year-old, were of the highest rating.

Bland (59), of Lychgate Court, Holts, was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, but Judge John Potter told him the only reason it had not been immediate prison term was because he had pleaded guilty rather than opt for trial, and he had no record of similar offending.

Judge Potter told him: “Prison is appropriate in these cases because people who download this dreadful material contribute to the grotesque abuse of children by creating a market for such pictures.”

Bland, who pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of indecent images of children, was told: “You did this for your own sexual gratification.

“Had there been any suggestion you were involved in distributing this material it would have been immediate prison.”

Brian Berlyne, prosecuting, said police raided Bland’s house after online searches using key phrases, triggered an alert.

After the images were found on his computer, Bland immediately admitted what he had been doing, telling police he had been experiencing sexual problems.

Judge Potter also ordered Bland to take part in a rehabilitation programme and made him subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.