January 2021

Child sex offender said he was ‘happy’ to be caught

A teemager who viewed indecent images of children for several years said he was pleased to have been caught, “before it got out of hand”, a court heard.

Police recovered computer devices from Guy Thompson’s home when he was cautioned and arrested, on July 5, 2019.

But Durham Crown Court was told the then 17-year-old told police the offending images would be found on his phone.

Uzma Khan, prosecuting, 93 indecent images were found, 26 in the most serious category, all featuring pre-teen children, many apparently “in distress”.

But she said there were also 1,000 other images considered “borderline”, featuring teenage boys in non-sexual poses.

Although Thompson initially gave “no comment” replies in interview, he later told police he acquired the images from a file-sharing app but would delete many after viewing them.

He said he had been viewing them since the age of 14 or 15, but since his arrest he has sought help to address the habit and completed online modules, adding he was happy to have been caught, “before it got out of hand.”

Thompson, now 19, of Yetholm Avenue, Chester-le-Street, admitted three counts of possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing a single image of extreme pornography,, featuring a scene of bestiality

The judge said real children were put in distress in those images and viewing them only encourages production of further material.

He passed an eight-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, with 40 rehabilitation activity days’ work with the Probation Service, including a special programme to address his behaviour.

Thompson will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and registration as a sex offender, both for ten years.