Paedo blamed depraved thoughts on death of his dog
A paedophile who fantasised about raping children blamed his sick perversion on the death of his pet dog.
Mathew Tharme, 48, downloaded sickening photos of child sex abuse victims including newborn babies.
The married dad-of-one even shared images from his vile collection with other deviants in online chat rooms.
But the computer sales worker walked free from court today after explaining how he had been “in a really bad place”.
Police received intelligence that an IP address had shared an indecent image of a child, via chat service Kik Messenger, last October.
Liverpool Crown Court heard they traced it to Tharme’s home in Kilburn Avenue, Eastham, Wirral, which they raided on December 15.
Tharme was present and said he was aware of the incident, before he was arrested and his Apple iPhone and Asus laptop were seized.
Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, said police found 20 Category A – the most serious category – images of girls aged three to five being raped.
There were 35 Category B images, including a newborn baby being sexually abused, and 63 Category C pictures, showing girls aged two to three.
An extreme porn image was discovered and officers identified he had used Kik Messenger on his phone to distribute two Category C pictures.
Mr Blasbery said when interviewed later that day, Tharme admitted using online chat rooms “to engage in fantasy chat, as he called it”.
He said he may have sent indecent images to other users during these chats and revealed he had searched online for Category C images.
Mr Blasbery said: “He said he would talk about the rape and sexual assault of children, but denied having any intention of carrying this out and denied having any sexual interest in children.
“He went on to explain his offending was a way of releasing his frustration at his current situation and stated he was in a really bad place personally having lost his job and having lots of time on his hands, his brother had a serious illness and also because of the loss of his pet dog.”
Tharme, now of Marline Avenue, Bromborough, Wirral, admitted three counts of downloading and one of possessing indecent images of children.
The dad, who has no previous convictions, also pleaded guilty to distributing indecent photos of children and possessing extreme pornography.
Tharme worked with a therapeutic counsellor from December to July
Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said though 118 images was a lower amount than in many cases, the photos were of an “extreme nature”.
He said if the photos Tharme had shared had been Category A pictures, then he would have faced prison.
The judge said: “The distinction between the sort of offences that might enable the court to pull back from immediate custody and those where there are bound to be a prison sentence will often be the difference between simple possession and distribution.
“It’s a terribly serious aggravating feature.”
However, he said because those shared were Category C, plus the limited number of photos and the steps Tharme had taken since, he would spare him jail.
Judge Menary handed him 10 months in jail, suspended for two years, a 25-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 100 hours of unpaid work.
He said Tharme must sign on the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.