A judge has slammed a Leamington man’s ‘self-pitying whinging’ to justify his downloading of thousands of child-abuse images and his denials of having a sexual interest in them, but then refused to jail him
Gary Scott had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of making indecent images of children as young as six and one charge of possessing a prohibited image.
Scott (58) of Elton Close, Leamington, was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity to address his behaviour.
Judge Anthony Potter also imposed a 7pm-7am curfew on him from Friday to Monday for three months and ordered him to register as a sex offender for ten years and to pay £300 costs.
Prosecutor Alex Warren said that in September 2017 the police executed a warrant at Scott’s home and seized various devices including his laptop computer and storage media.
When Scott was interviewed about what officers might find on the devices, his responses were mainly ‘no comment.’
They were subsequently examined by hi-tech officers who discovered a total of more than 3,000 indecent images of children as well as search terms used by Scott such as ‘paedo incest.’
Mr Warren pointed out that around half of the pictures were duplicates, and in total there were 1,556 different images, of which 308 had been saved in a folder on Scott’s desktop.
Following the examination of the computers, Scott was interviewed again in February last year, but maintained his ‘no comment’ stance.
Judge Potter asked why it had taken so long for the case to get to court, observing that after his initial interview, Scott was not even questioned again until a year-and-a-half later.
Mr Warren explained that it had taken some time for the devices to be examined, after which further queries had to be resolved before a charging decision was finally made.
Judge Potter remarked: “He wants to make some show of engaging with professionals to pray in aid some mitigation, but he continues to deny any interest in children.”
Mr Henry responded: “Often the path to recovery takes time. At least he’s shown a degree of commitment, and he’s done it off his own bat.”
Sentencing Scott, Judge Potter told him: “Please don’t labour under any misapprehension that I believe your explanation that you were not excited by these images of the sexual abuse of children, because I am quite sure you had a long-standing interest in that.
“The duty of the court is to protect children from abuse, because people like you bring that into effect. To a very large extent you drive the abuse of children in this country and across Europe and beyond.
“Most right-thinking individuals would be sickened not just by what you were watching, but the self-pitying whinging you have given to the professionals to justify what you have done.
“You may have visited professionals, but there seems to have been precious little engagement because you have not acknowledged the interest you have in children.
“But for reasons I don’t understand you have been waiting for this day for three years.
“It is the lack of recurrence in that time that just persuades me that I should give you the option of engaging with professionals to address the risk you pose.”