June 2021

Judge hands paedophile ‘lenient’ sentence to protect his health

A paedophile snared by police who pretended to be a 12-year-old boy online has been told he will only get ‘one shot’ to stay out of prison.

Despite committing a series of serious child sex offences, David Thompson, 61, was handed a suspended sentence.

Thompson, of Parthian Road, east Hull, struck up a conversation with the boy, 12, on a chat room for gay and bisexual men.

Despite the boy making it clear he was only 12 years old, Thompson continued chatting and the conversation soon turned sexual.

At Hull Crown Court Michele Stuart-Lofthouse, prosecuting, explained that Thompson was unaware the boy was a decoy and began asking the boy for naked images and sent similar images to the boy

He then asked for images of the boy performing sex acts even though the boy told him he was in school at the time.

Police arrested Thompson at his home in July 2020 and seized his computer

On the hard drive they found hundreds of indecent images, including more than 100 category A photos and videos – the most serious kind.

There was images of bestiality and some of the images featured children as young as two years old.

Miss Stuart-Lofthouse said: “The defendant was interviewed and said he was chatting to lots of people online and didn’t remember the boy.

“He said people pretend to be different ages online and if he had known he was 12 he would have asked why he was in that chat room.

“The defendant said he was interested in males in their late teens.

“He admitted possessing the images of children but said he did not have a sexual attraction to them.”

Judge David Tremberg told Thompson he was incredibly close to being jailed but felt he could just about suspend the sentence.

He said: “You sort sexual gratification from indecent images of children, especially boys.

“You viewed these images over a length of time, there as a large number of them and the ages of some of these children was very young.

“Your behaviour against what you thought was a 12-year-old boy was depraved and corrupt. Your conduct was such as to take away his innocence.

“This was sexually predatory behaviour all parents fear.

“But I give you maximum credit for your guilty pleas.

“You are a man with serious and enduring poor health conditions and you have spent the last few years in a socially isolated fashion.

“This would make you particularly vulnerable as a prisoner, particularly during the Covid pandemic.

“It seems to me justice can be done by suspending the sentence. This sentence is lenient but not unduly so.”

For two counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, Thompson was handed a two-year jail sentence.

He was given a further year for two counts of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act and eight months of possessing indecent images of children which will run concurrently.

The sentences have all been suspended which means Thompson was allowed to leave the court.

But he will need to carry out rehabilitation and therapy and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Judge Tremberg sent out a final warning to Thompson saying: “You have been given the opportunity to straighten your life out but if you carry on like this you will go to prison, ill health or not.

“This is your one shot and if you don’t take the opportunity then you only have yourself to blame.”