April 2021

Pervert had child abuse images on mobile and laptop

A pervert who used an anonymous web browser to search for child abuse images has given a suspended sentence.

Steven Atkinson had nine Category A images, the most serious offence, and one Category C image on his mobile phone and laptop after police raided his home in Guisborough last year.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the National Crime Agency tipped-off Cleveland Police about his online activities.

Vicki Lamballe, prosecuting, said the 40-year-old used a web browser which didn’t store the users search history and also had ‘eraser’ software installed on his digital equipment.

She told the court that a forensic search of Atkinson’s laptop and mobile phone recovered a total of ‘just ten images’.

Miss Lamballe added: “There was a visit to a website containing child abuse which was evident in a file on the defendant’s computer.”

Atkinson, of Meath Way, Guisborough, pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of indecent images of children.

Judge Howard Crowson sentenced the defendant to eight months in custody, suspended for 12 months.

He added: “Each time an image of a violated child is used it represents a further violation for the same child.

“The tragedy for those children is that as they grow up they know those images will never be wiped – they are there and people view them. It an abhorrence to people that they are ever viewed.”

Atkinson was put on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and issued with a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.