August 2017

Grandfather avoids jail after distributing pictures of child rape

A Devizes grandfather who was distributing pictures of child rape over the internet has been spared jail.

Richard Hurt downloaded hundreds of indecent images of children storing them on his computer and Kindle tablet.

But after hearing how the 66-year-old had never been in trouble before and was seeking help for his problem a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how police received information that a user of an email account was distributing the material.

He said officers went to Hurt’s home in January this year when the pensioner accepted that the email address was his.

Various computers and equipment were seized and found to contain indecent pictures and movies of children.

When he was questioned he said that he had started looking at adult pornography and after contacting others online images of children began to arrive.

He said that he saved some of the material on to his Kindle tablet as well as a USB drive.

Mr Meeke said that 137 images were found at category A, the worst level, as well as 23 movies, 174 at B and 65 at C.

He said it was uncovered that he had sent six level A images, four level B and two C, by email on four dates in December last year and January 2017.

Along with the pictures and movies he said there was a quantity of messaging where he said what he would like to do to children.

Hurt, who gave the court an address on London Road, Chippenham, admitted making and distributing indecent images of children and possessing prohibited images.

Andrew Banks, defending, said that until now his client had lived a blameless, hard working, life having never been in trouble before.

As a result of the offending he said that his wife is disgusted with him, but is also standing by him.

He said he has also had to tell his children about what he had done and as one of his daughters and her child were living at home at the time social services were involved.

As a result he had to move out and found a flat in Chippenham but he is now able to move back after he was not deemed a threat.

In the weeks after his arrest he said he contacted the Lucy Faithful Foundation and when he found their courses were full he sought help elsewhere.

Passing sentence Recorder Richard Onslow said “Making, possessing and distributing these images encourages the vile trade in these things and the commission of dreadful offences against innocent children.”

He imposed a two year jail term suspended for two years with 40 days rehabilitation activity requirement and told him to pay £400 costs.

Hurt will also be subject a sexual harm prevention order and register as a sex offender for ten years.