August 2017

Suspended sentence for man who downloaded more than 300 indecent images of children on mobile phone

A pervert with “an unhealthy interest in children” who admitted to downloading more than 300 indecent images on his mobile phone has been spared a jail sentence.

Jonathon Collings, 36, was given a 10-month sentence suspended for 18 months by Judge David Aubrey, QC.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that police raided Collings’ then home on Stirling Crescent, Marshalls Cross on February 9 last year with a search warrant over suspicious activity involving an IP address.

They discovered it related to his mobile phone and two handsets were seized. Forensic examinations revealed that on one of them he had downloaded 343 indecent images of children.

Before the examination had been carried out, Collings voluntarily went to a police station to admit downloading the images.

Judge Aubrey said to Collings: “The reason you were doing it is, regrettably, that you have an unhealthy interest in children.

“Let me also assist you in this regard. It is to be noted from the pre-sentence report that when you were viewing the images you did not at the time recognise that these children had been abused.

“Each and very image that you observed represented the sexual abuse of a child.

“The consequences of that sexual abuse is that they will suffer physical and psychological harm and by doing what you were doing you perpetuated the sexual abuse of each and every child.”

The judge said the public would be better protected if Collings is helped by the probation service to address his issues.

He also ordered him to carry out up to 40 days rehabilitation activities and imposed a seven year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Collings was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

“He said he had taken to looking at nudist type websites and then specific searches for indecent images of children and engaging in communicating with other people who wanted to swap pictures,” said Chris Hopkins, prosecuting.

The forensic report about the contents of the phone came back in May this year, which Mr Hopkins said was “an unduly long period of time without proper explanation”.

Collings, now living in the YMCA in St Helens, pleaded guilty to three offences of downloading indecent images and one of possessing them.

Henry Riding, defending, said Collings has no previous convictions and could give no explanation for his behaviour.

He added that Collings had been heavily addicted to alcohol “and his life was virtually unmanageable at the time. He has since addressed that issue and has done remarkably well”.

Mr Riding added: “He is determined to put that problem behind him and would be equally motivated to co-operate with the probation service.”

Collings was living with his mother at the time but is now homeless and had lost his job through his drink problem, added Mr Riding.