September 2017

Chippenham man given suspended sentence

A MAN who downloaded more than 80,000 images of children being sexually abused claimed he did it to prevent him molesting youngsters.

Russell Kay catalogued and stored the vile pictures and videos for 20 years, much of it squirrelled away on disks he kept in the loft of his family home.

But after hearing the 48-year-old said he used the material ‘in the way a heroin user takes methadone’, a judge at Swindon Crown Court imposed a suspended sentence.

Peter Binder, defending the dad, said as a youngster his client had been abused and he had accessed the material to avoid becoming a perpetrator himself.

“He is of the view, having been seriously abused himself as a young boy by a male friend of his parents, his feeling was he was at some risk at some point of committing an offence against a child,” he said.

“Because his understanding was: having been a victim himself, as in his view victims in his words are hard wired to become abusers. And so he feels he was looking at this material in the way a heroin user takes methadone.

“It was really the lesser of two evils as it reduced the risk of him committing a contact offence.

“He seems to be of the view that what he was doing was in a sense preventing the situation from getting worse. It is hard to fathom.

“In many ways he has been the victim and this is not someone with paedophilic tendencies by choice, it is someone who suffered vile abuse as a child and that has affected his behaviour over the years.

“Apart from this secret life of storing this material he has been in many ways a model citizen.”

Mr Binder said following his arrest in April last year Kay had sought help for his problem and now had blocking software on his machine.

He said he had lost his job as a result of his offending but his wife and daughters, who are aware of his past, are standing by him.

Earlier Grace Flynn, prosecuting, said that police received intelligence that his IP address had been used on a file sharing website which peddled the material.

As well as seizing a laptop and three external hard drives, officers also seized a box of CDs which were full of the images from the loft.

She said there were 271 in the worst category, including 64 movies, 431 in the middle bracket of which 45 were films and 81,650 in the lowest level, including 155 movies.

When he was questioned he accepted he had been collecting the images since the year 2000, saying he had experienced a traumatic childhood.

Kay, of Waters Edge, Pewsham, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children between July 1995 and April 30 last year.

Passing sentence Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “Every time you looked at those images for your perverted gratification you were witnessing a young child or children being violently abused.”

But he said as there is a chance Kay can be managed in the community and he is assessed as a low risk of reoffending he could suspend a 12-month jail term for two years.

He told Kay he will be under supervision for two years and must abide by a sexual harm prevention order and register as a sex offender for 10 years.