May 2016

Lancashire pervert avoids jail

A MAN who downloaded thousands of images of children possessed pictures of victims as young as four years old, a court heard.

When police raided the Huncoat home of Stephen Ives, 43, they found hard drives containing thousands of images of children.

And when studying his search history they found various searches for “pre-teens”.

Ives, of Higher Gate Road, admitted to three counts of making indecent photographs of children between December 27, 2002, and May 21, 2015.

Of those 19 images were of the most serious category and showed sex with children, 31 were at the second most serious level and 4,429 showed children in sexual poses.

He also admitted a charge of possessing 4,429 indecent images of children.

Among the pictures was one of images found was a girl aged four.

Roger Baldwin, prosecuting, said police visited Ives’ home in May last year and seized a computer, 15 hard drives, five CD drives, 570 CDs, a Kindle, a Toshiba laptop and two mobile phones.

Mr Baldwin said: “The items were examined. The defendant was called in for interview in November 27 and he made no comment to any questions that were asked.”

He said it was impossible to say how long Ives had been offending.

Judge Beverly Lunt adjourned the case temporarily to alter the recommendations of a pre-sentence report that said Ives was not attracted to children and had no scope for an appropriate treatment order.

Judge Lunt said: “He was clearly looking for children of a certain age. To say that he is not attracted to children is just not true.”

Ives was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, ordered to attend an internet sex offenders programme, complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement, comply with a five-year sexual harm prevention order and sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.