June 2021

Sunderland pervert’s collection of indecent images included a baby in ‘pain or distress’

A pervert whose collection of indecent images of children included a baby in “discernible pain or distress” has walked free from court.

Stephen Collier had entered search terms seeking out the child abuse material, which police found on his computer hard drives.

Newcastle Crown Court heard one of the images showed a one-year-old in pain or distress.

Officers went to his home on North Hylton Road, Sunderland, in April last year and seized his computer equipment.

In total, they found 33 of the most serious, category A, images, 52 category B and 40 category C.

The youngsters featured were aged between one and 15.

When he was interviewed, Collier claimed he had been downloading legal pornography when the indecent images started to download. He said he deleted them but they downloaded again.

He said he was using search terms including the phrases “pre teen” and “incest 10-year-old girl” in order to find where the images were coming from.

Collier, 56, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.

He was sentenced to eight months suspended for two years with 80 hours unpaid work. He must also sign the sex offenders register and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Judge Julie Clemitson told him: “The images include some images of extremely young children, as young as one and including one where a young child is distressed.

“You deliberately sought out such images. You were looking for not just images of children but those that had an incestuous element to them and had depictions of rape.

“Most were recovered from deleted files.

“You need to acknowledge viewing images of children perpetuates the harm of children all around the world who are raped and abused.”