February 2021

Pervert who downloaded indecent images of children said he was threatened by ‘those who knew what he was doing’

A pervert, who downloaded more than 1,000 indecent images of children, has been given a suspended sentence.

Robert Wilkinson, 52, was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court after pleading guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs of children.

According to prosecution barrister Victoria Lewis, 10 of the images found on Wilkinson’s laptop were category A – the most serious, seven were category B, and 1,074 were category C.

Ms Lewis told the court that police first attended at Wilkinson’s home in Lightwood Close, Farnworth, on November 12 2019.

Officers had originally been attending to a concern for welfare call, that had been made by Wilkinson’s manager, after Wilkinson had ‘threatened to harm himself’ and had ‘indicated that he had indecent images of young girls on his laptop’.

Wilkinson told police that he had taken an overdose of paracetamol in a bid to end his life and had also fallen over and hurt his head. He admitted that there were indecent images on his laptop.

Ms Lewis told the court that Wilkinson had also appeared ‘very confused and incoherent’.

Police seized a laptop, two phones, three CDs and a dongle from Wilkinson’s home.

During his interview, Wilkinson denied possessing indecent images and told officers that he struggled with alcohol abuse and depression.

After being taken home, Wilkinson started to display symptoms of a ‘mental health crisis’ and was taken to hospital, where he again admitted to officers about the indecent images and told them that he had received threats from ‘those who knew what he was doing’.

He was detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act and was kept in the mental health unit from November 14 to November 20.

When Wilkinson’s laptop was examined, 1,091 images were found – featuring children estimated to be aged between six and 16-years-old. Ms Lewis told the court that these images were inaccessible, due to being deleted.

Some of the files were ‘moving images’, according to Ms Lewis.

The court heard that a number of sick searches were made by Wilkinson in an attempt to locate indecent images of underage girls. Ms Lewis also told the court that Wilkinson accessed a number of online stories written by an author called ‘Paedo Phil’.

There were no indecent images on any of the other devices seized by police.

Judge Timothy Stead sentenced Wilkinson to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Judge Stead said: “This is the one and only time that you’ve been before the Crown and I’d like to think it’ll be the first and the last.

Judge Stead imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order on Wilkinson. He will also be forced to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and will have to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.