September 2020

Shamed civil servant ‘couldn’t stop’ looking at child abuse images

A civil servant who “couldn’t stop” looking at sickening images of child abuse has been spared jail

Peter Scott had a vile collection of 49 pictures, including one video, featuring children aged between just four and 14 on his laptop.

The 55-year-old told police he had discovered illegal images during a Google search and they “took him back to his childhood”.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the married dad, who has since resigned from his 30-year career with the civil service, confessed that “once he started looking, he couldn’t stop”.

Prosecutor Claire Anderson told the court police had gone to Scott’s home in Jarrow in October 2018 after his computer IP address was linked to illegal online activity.

Scott, who was out at work but returned home to face the officers, admitted “I’ve looked at a couple of pictures” and handed over his laptop.

Investigations revealed the 49 abuse images, with 13 of them being in the most serious category of their type.

Miss Anderson told the court: “The forensic report from the police estimates the children in the images to be between the ages of four and 14-years-old.”

Scott admitted he had started looking at the images six years before hand.

Miss Anderson added: “He stated he first started looking at the images six years ago, searching for naked girls on Google, saw the images and they took him back to his childhood and once he started looking he couldn’t stop.”

Scott, of Regent Road, Jarrow, accepted he had viewed the illegal images for “sexual gratification” and said he would talk to other adults online about his fantasies but “would never act upon them”.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children.

Judge Robert Adams sentenced Scott to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements.

He must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for seven years.

The judge said Scott has shown remorse, was of previous positive character and is keen to accept help.

Judge Adams told him: “You immediately made full admissions and admitted once you started looking at the images you couldn’t stop.”