March 2021

Pervert downloaded indecent images of children as young as 4

Married dad-of-two Nicholas Finney downloaded indecent images of children.

The 46-year-old became bored when he was off work and accessed a site where he became involved in sexual conversations about children.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard he became interested and aroused by the conversations. Finney was sent indecent images by people he met, which he looked at before deleting them. He admitted to police he became addicted to the images and the talk about sexual abuse.

Police examined his phone and found indecent images of children at category A – the most serious showing the rape and torture of young children and toddlers

Now Finney has been handed a two-year community order after a judge said there was a good chance of him being rehabilitated.

Prosecutor Nick Tatlow said police received information that the defendant had uploaded indecent images of children and arrested him at his workplace on July 14, 2020.

He told police he had been involved in communications in which indecent images were exchanged and he surrendered his phone. He went to Hanley police station two days later as a volunteer and was interviewed under caution.

“He said he followed a suggestion he should use a chat site and he became involved in sexual discussions about children.,” said Mr Tatlow.

“He described how he became more and more interested and aroused by such conversations. He said he was sent indecent images of children by people he had met. He looked at them and deleted them.

“He said he had sometimes sent images on to other users, but he faces no charge of distributing indecent images of children.

“He said there were conversations about, and images sent of, the sexual abuse of children as young as four and he became addicted to the images and the talk about the sexual abuse. He knew it was wrong. He told himself to stop, but the more it went on the more addicted he became.”

After the interview, the defendant’s phone was examined and police found indecent images of children at category A as well as others in category C

Mr Tatlow added: “The category A images are real photographs of the serious sexual abuse of very young children.”

Finney, of Prospect Terrace, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to two charges of making indecent images of children.

Jason Holt, mitigating, said the offences happened after the defendant had an operation and was at home for eight weeks.

“He became bored and explored once more his sexuality. That took him to the sites. He has been open and honest about what occurred,” Mr Holt told the court

“He is someone who is willing to access help and try and deal with the problem he has.”

He said the defendant’s wife is standing by him, but he has lost his relationship with his son and daughter. Mr Holt said: “His actions are the downloading and receiving of images, not taking any images of children.

“But he accepts the children are real. He is absolutely appalled by his actions.”

Judge Paul Glenn sentenced Finney to the community order, which includes a rehabilitation activity requirement for 30 days and a four-month electronically-monitored curfew from 10pm to 6am.

He told him: “You are 46 and, prior to these offences, you were a man of good character. I have to deal with you for what, in reality, are a small number of images in the scheme of things, none of them accessible, which fits in with your account that you would delete these images not long after you received them.

“You have good qualities. Your wife stands by you. You are very lucky.

“A custodial sentence is merited but, frankly, any prison sentence would be very short indeed. In your case, I think there is a good prospect of rehabilitation. I believe the risk of re-offending is low and I think an alternative to custody is appropriate in your case.”

Finney has also been made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for five years and has been placed on the sex offenders’ register for the same period. He has also been barred from a range of activities involving children and vulnerable adults.

The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the phone and ordered the defendant to pay £450 costs.