April 2016

Walkern pensioner, 80, handed suspended sentence after making indecent images of children

An 80-year-old man from Walkern has been given a suspended prison sentence after being caught with a collection of indecent images of children – with some at the highest possible category.

Donald Varty, of Cherry Tree Rise, pleaded guilty at Cambridge Crown Court to three offences of making indecent images – 31 at the highest category A, 25 at level B and 887 at level C.

The images were of boys and girls aged between six and 13.

Judge Jonathan Haworth imposed a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with a 60-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He also ordered Varty to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years and made a sexual harm prevention order, for seven years, which allows police to monitor his internet access and history. The defendant also has to pay £200 costs.

Judge Haworth said: “The law is clear, those who do this face a prison sentence. In your case, given your guilty plea and previous good character I will suspend it.”

Prosecutor Matthew Turner said police searched Varty’s home on 28 September last year and seized a computer and a laptop. They found still and moving images which had been deleted.

Mitigating, Charles Judge said Varty had downloaded the images out of “curiosity”.

“He said that curiosity got him into trouble. He accepts that he was in the wrong.”

The barrister added that Varty had volunteered when asked to take part in Herts Constabulary’s pilot polygraph (lie detector) procedure and the results had not raised any concerns.

He also said that Varty had not revealed any details about his previous work because he was “bound by legislation not to discuss it”.

It is believed that he used to work in the defence industry.