February 2021

University of Derby worker fears for his job after sharing vile child abuse images

A University of Derby worker expects to lose his job after admitting possessing and distributing sick child abuse images.

Hugo Sousa claimed he had to post the vile photographs online to other like-minded people so he would be allowed into a depraved and perverted chat room.

The 44-year-old, of Normanton, also told police he only got sexual satisfaction from viewing indecent/sexual pictures of schoolgirls aged 14 to 15.

But when detectives analysed a mobile phone they seized from him, they discovered he had been searching for horrific images of girls as young as five.

Handing him a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “There are a number of aggravating features to your case.

“Firstly there is the length of time the offending took place and then there is the evidence that there were searches for children much younger than those you claimed to be interested in.

“It presents a difficult sentencing exercise and it clearly passes the custodial threshold.

“The real question is whether it should be an immediate term of imprisonment or not, as I have to decide what is the best way to protect young children.”

John Dunne, prosecuting, said police went to Sousa’s home in Havelock Road, in the early hours of May 9, 2019.

He said information had been received that his email address was being used to access an online messaging board where indecent images of children were being viewed.

Mr Dunne said Sousa, who is also known as Hugo De Sousa, was arrested and his laptop and mobile phone were seized.

On them were 144 of the most serious category A images, which typically show young children being sexually abused by adults.

Mr Dunne said 135 category B and 231 category C images were also discovered.

He said: “He told police in his interview he visited the message board and that indecent images needed to be uploaded to allow him into the chat rooms.

“He said he was not interested in children younger than 14 or 15.

“But analysis found the defendant had been looking for children as young as five.”

Sousa pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children and one of distributing them, all the charges being between April 2018 and September 2019.

He has no previous convictions of any kind.

As part of the suspended sentence Sousa will have to attend 30 rehabilitation sessions with the probation service.

He was also placed on the sex offender register and handed a sexual harm prevention order.