February 2020

Granddad had sickening child images and ‘depraved’ chats online

A man who was found with “sickening” child abuse images including ones which involved the rape of a baby has been jailed.

Christopher Bate was married with children and grandchildren, Bristol Crown Court heard on February 12.

But the court was told after separating from his wife he strayed into the dark side of the Internet and obtained and shared images which a judge described as “horrifying”.

He was brought to book when Avon and Somerset police called on him due to intelligence they received.

Bate, 67, of St John’s Road in Frome, pleaded guilty to distributing a Category A image between September 2013 and November 2018.

He also admitted possessing Category A, B and C images as well as an extreme porn image.

In total he had 2,976 images and 879 movies in the most serious Category A.

Nicholas Fridd, prosecuting, said Bate accessed uploads of child abuse movies and police made an appointment to see him.

Mr Fridd said officers found child abuse images across the category range on his computer tower and a further image on his phone.

When police identified websites Bate visited they found he had said he liked “fit men and boys” and indicated he would like to sexually abuse a five-year-old boy.

His collection of vile images included babies and young boys being raped, the court was told.

Judge Paul Cook jailed him for 28 months.

He told Bate: “The images were sickening and horrifying and demonstrate a focus on the most extreme abuse of very young children.

“They involved the rape of a baby.

“You have been communicating with other paedophiles and sharing movies and images.

“The conversations you had can only be described as depraved.”

Bate was told to register as a sex offender and was handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, both for ten years. His computer devices were forfeited.