Man found with almost 3,000 child abuse images escapes jail at Isle of Wight Crown Court
A pervert found with almost 3,000 indecent images of children as young as six, who had also been trading images online, has escaped jail.
Nigel Ghent, 49, of Market Street, Ventnor, who was arrested at his place of work, had searched for images tagged ‘pre-teens’ and ‘Lolita angels’ and shared them with other offenders.
He was given a suspended sentence at the Isle of Wight Crown Court today (Thursday).
He had pleaded guilty to seven counts — three of possessing indecent images of children, three of distributing indecent images and one of encouraging or assisting in an offence — at an earlier hearing, held at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court on November 15.
Prosecutor Tim Compton said Ghent was caught after Metropolitan Police officers searched the computer of another offender and discovered Skype messages, sharing indecent images, from an account belonging to him.
Mr Compton said: “Hampshire Police were informed of the Skype account NewRanger1970, which had an email address attached to it. Police were able to trace that email to an IP address in Ventnor.
“Police arrested Mr Ghent at his place of work and a search of his email account showed he had sent moving images and stills to others.
“On his laptop, there was a folder titled ‘pics’ that was used to save the images.
“There was an ongoing conversation with an account named DesertDaren asking Mr Ghent such things as: “How young do you want to see?”
“An examination of Mr Ghent’s laptop found almost 3,000 explicit images and videos of children aged between six and 14.
“A check of his search history showed he had used Google to look for things such as ‘pre teens,’ ‘Lolita angels’ and ‘twinks.’
“It is clear what was going on. In interview, he said he had done wrong and was sorry.
“He told police he just wanted to feel loved.” The court heard Ghent had lost his job following his appearance at the magistrates’ court and had no previous history of offending.
Judge David Melville said: “These offences are extremely serious.
“Children of a very young age have been exploited for these images and for your own sexual gratification.
“One can only imagine the grief, distress and effects on these children in order to produce these images, and one can only hope their suffering will not be lifelong, but one can only hope.” Ghent was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.
He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work, including 40 rehabilitation activity days.