June 2021

Paedophile caught with child abuse images admits he needs help

A paedophile who downloaded images of children being sexually abused told police he needed help for his behaviour.

Gary Dodden, 56, actively searched the internet for images of abuse, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He also said he had exchanged images with like-minded paedophiles.

The judge told Dodden it was people like him who provided a demand for the real-life rape and sex abuse of children.’

The defendant, of The Glen, Okehampton, admitted three charges of making indecent images of children.

He was given a community order after the judge was told he was a realistic prospect for rehabilitation.

Prosecutor Mr Richard Crabb said that on August 8, 2019, police entered the defendant’s address and seized his computers.

“He was interviewed on the day of the search and admitted having a sexual interest in children,” said Mr Crabb.

“He said he needed help. He’s actively been looking for indecent images of children for three years and had been banned multiple times by a messaging app.

“He said he had exchanged images in chat groups but that it was all fantasy and he would never have acted it out in real life.”

On his phone and iPad police found images of abuse involving children aged between two and 16. The court was told some of the images were of the most types of abuse.

The defendant later said he had only been motivated by curiosity and could not get sexual gratification from the images because of a serious medical condition.

He said he was ashamed and the images were horrendous.

Judge David Evans said abuse in the images covered all levels of seriousness

“Without people behaving like you did there wouldn’t be the demand that there is. It would be much less likely people would bound and abuse children in the way those who carried out these images did, if there was not people like you forming the audience.”

He imposed an 18-month community order with 20 rehabilitation days. Dodden was also told to pay £500 fines and costs and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to stop him committing the same offences again.