September 2019

Father and son both had child abuse images at same house

A father who created child abuse images on his computer has been jailed after his son found them and posted them to an internet friend.

Stephen Rawlinson used photo manipulation software to turn innocent images of children into indecent ones and was found with 139 on his Dell computer.

His son William also had an interest in child abuse images. He downloaded more than 2,000 from the internet put some of his father’s images off using a USB memory stick.

He went on to send 22 images to a contact who he had made through the Kik messenger app shortly before police raided the home in South Street, where both men lived at the time.

The 56-year-old father has a previous conviction for downloading child images and was jailed at Exeter Crown Court while his 27-year-old son was sent on a sex offenders’ programme.

Police found the pseudo-photographs which Stephen Rawlinson had created when they raided the house in September 2017. He admitted what he had done but said he knew nothing about images being shared on Kik.

His son then admitted that he also had an interest in child abuse images and had been downloading them from the internet. He had also been chatting online and had sent 22 on Kik. He also found his father’s images and had some on a memory stick.

Both men, of South Street, South Molton, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children. William Rawlinson also admitted distributing images.

Stephen Rawlinson was jailed for eight months and his son was sent on a sex offenders’ treatment programme as part of a three year community order.

Both were put on the sex offenders register and made subject of Sexual Harm Prevention Orders which restrict their future use of the internet by Judge Peter Johnson.

He told the father:”You have a significant conviction from 2010 when you considered yourself fortunate not to get an immediate sentence. Within a relatively short time, you offended again.”

He told the son:”You are in a different category. You are of good character. You do not seek to blame your father but I bear in mind the effect which his previous conviction must have had some influence on you.

“You had a very unhappy start in life, in part because of your father’s predilections.”

Miss Kelly Scrivener, prosecuting, said police went to the home which the two men shared on September 2, 2017 and initially spoke to the father, who admitted manipulating images of children to make them sexual.

He was asked about the use of the social media platform Kik but knew nothing about it and police then interviewed his son, who was found with child images in a dropbox on his phone admitted sending some on Kik.

He also admitted downloading images from the internet and storing some of his father’s images on a USB stick.

In total, the father created 11 category A, 16 category B, and 112 category C images between 2009 and 2017.

His son made one category A, 233 category B, and 2,005 category C images or movies between June and September 2017, and distributed 22 category C images.