March 2021

Pervert caught with baby abuse images: ‘I’ve got a fetish’

Pervert Neil Rushton was caught with hundreds of sex abuse photos including of children as young as one.

The 57-year-old downloaded category C images – the least serious – and inadvertently downloaded more extreme material which he then deleted.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard police executed a warrant at the defendant’s home and seized a laptop and a phone.

They were analysed and officers found 14 images at category A – the most serious; 42 category B images and 449 at category C. There were also nine prohibited images.

The images were of children aged one to 16.

Now Rushton has been handed an 18 month community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 30 days and a three month electronically-monitored curfew from 9pm to 5am.

Prosecutor Sophie Murray said: “The main aggravating feature is the fact the depicted children were aged between one and 16.”

Rushton, of Monty Place, Fenton, pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children and possession of prohibited images.

Judge Paul Glenn said: “You have now lost your good name.

“On your basis of plea, you downloaded category C images and inadvertently downloaded some material at categories A and B which you then deleted. I sentence you on that particular basis.”

The judge said the delay has represented some degree of punishment for the defendant.

He added: “You spoke of having a fetish, of being interested in girls aged 14 to 16 as well as older females. You sought that material for five or six years. The internet searches supported that.

“You seem to understand why these offences are seriously regarded by the courts. This is not a case, in my judgement, where custody is necessary.”

Rushton was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years and made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for the same period. He was barred from a range of activities involving children and vulnerable adults.

He must pay £1,500 costs.