December 2021

Paedophile caught with indecent images dubbed an ‘abuser of children’

A pervert who downloaded more than 200 indecent images that claimed he was ‘curious’ was told by a judge he was an indirect ‘abuser of children’.

Christopher Spriggs, 55, was investigated by the National Crime Agency as part of a probe into child exploitation and sex offenders.

They found that Springs used the Kik messaging app, which allows users to communicate and share images with others, to access illegal pornography in February 2020.

Spriggs, previously of the Dorchester area, admitted that whilst on the Kik app, he would chat to others who would post indecent images.

National Crime Agency located Spriggs via his IP address and referred their findings to Dorset Police who visited his home on May 2, 2020.

Prosecutor Richard Martin told Bournemouth Crown Court: “He was arrested and police seized a number of devices including a mobile phone and laptop.

Christopher Spriggs, of no fixed address, was caught with indecent images following an investigation by National Crime Agency, a court heard. Picture: Dorset Echo

“The report from police states that of Category A images, there were five, 26 Category B images and 185 Category C images were collected over a time period.

“He does explain in his pre-sentence report that it was a build-up of interest in illegal pornography which suggested it was a culmination.”

Some of the more serious images featured a girl as young as eight years old.

In a previous appearance at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court, Spriggs told police ‘he downloaded them (the illegal images) for curiosity and he was not sexually attracted to children.’

Spriggs, of no fixed address, previously pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images and appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for sentencing.

Sentencing, Judge Stephen Climie told Spriggs ‘there is no excuse for what you did’ and warned that offenders caught with Category A images were sent to prison.

He told Spriggs: “You are and need to live with the fact are an abuser of children. Not directly, but if there was demand for this material, then the reality is that there would be far fewer occasions this happens.

“That is a matter you have to live with not just because you have to be on the sex offenders register but also subject to a sexual harm prevention order.

“You have on a positive note already taken positive steps to take further understanding why you came to commit these offences.

“You will not go to prison today but if you come into court again in the next three years, it will be due to not complying with this order or you have committed further offences.”

Spriggs was issued a three-year community order and must undertake up to 30 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days.

He made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years and placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work and pay costs of £425. His seized phone was ordered to be forfeited and destroyed.