December 2019

Pervert pensioner caught with 15,000 indecent images spared jail 

A pervert pensioner caught with more than 15,000 indecent images of children has been spared jail so he can care for his arthritic wife.

Norman Thrush was caught with thousands of sick photos of children as young as five when police raided his home.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 71-year-old had used deliberate search terms including “child love” as he viewed the images in the house he shared with his wife.

The pensioner, who claimed never to have even watched pornography until he retired and “things escalated”, pleaded guilty to two counts making indecent images of a child.

Now a judge has ruled that Thrush should be spared jail because he is a carer for his wife, who is standing by him.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister said the case involved two category B and 15,000 category C still images.

He told the court: “As a result of information received from the National Crime Agency, police officers attended the defendant’s home address in November 2018. He was cautioned and arrested.”

Over a number of hard drives, officers found two category B images, and more than 15,000 category C images.

Mr Pallister said: “The age of the children involved is estimated to be between five and seven years old.”

The court heard the images were downloaded over six years between July 2012 and November 2018.

Judge Penny Moreland told Thrush, “I’m concerned to see you were unable to identify the images being of child abuse.

“Every one of these 15,000 images involved a real child somewhere in the world being sexually abused and exploited so the image could be taken and put on the internet for people like you to view for your own sexual gratification.

“A child was abused every time one of these images was created. If you have so far been unable to understand that you were watching images of children being abused, now is the time for you to understand.