Horsham paedophile spared prison over images

A paedophile who had vile child sex abuse images was spared a prison sentence.

Simon Dickens was found to be in possession of indecent images of children on his computer in Horsham.

It included 85 category A images of adults effectively “torturing” children a court heard.

The 41-year-old admitted possessing category B and C images as well.

Her Honour Judge Shani Barnes heard how these were Dickens’ first offences.

She imposed a 15-month suspended sentence and 15 rehabilitation sessions at Brighton Crown Court.

But the judge did not impose unpaid work because he is a “man in his 40s with a responsible job” and unpaid work schemes are not likely to get up and running until after the coronavirus pandemic later this summer.

The judge said the category A images were “horrendous” and said the image showed children “suffering for the gratuitous pleasure of adults”.

She said Dickens, of Harding Lane, Broadbridge Heath, has made efforts himself to get counselling to speak to someone about his own “traumas in his early childhood”.

Dickens was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order which restricts his access to children and computer devices capable of hiding internet searches and using the dark web

He is also now a registered sex offender