August 2001

Shame of porn man

A MAN who built his own computer downloaded pornographic images of children from the internet – to prove he had the skill to do it.

Stephen Mills had acquired more than 400 indecent pictures, some showing children involved in sex acts.

But the 34-year-old maintained he was not sexually aroused by the images, and stopped downloading them in the middle of last year because he was “bored”, Worcester Crown Court was told.

Yesterday, he escaped a jail sentence after Judge David Matthews told Mills that people like him encouraged others to take indecent photographs of children.

The judge said it was “fortunate” for Mills he had not distributed the pictures to anyone else or he would have gone to prison.

But he was put on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

He was also made subject to a two-year community rehabilitation order, during which he has to undertake a sex offenders’ programme.

Mills had admitted 24 specimen charges of making indecent images of children.

Tim Hannam, prosecuting, said police went to Mills’ home on Saturday, January 13, and seized his computer and disks.

He admitted he had built the computer himself, but said no one else had used it.

Examination showed there were more than 400 pictorial images of children. Some were indulging in sexual acts.

Carol Knotts, defending, said Mills had been depressed after being made redundant. He had time on his hands

n Cont on P14

From P1 n and heard that it was impossible to obtain such material, so he took up the challenge.

It was an experiment and he realised it was a stupid thing to do, she said.

The court was told the experience had given him an insight into the suffering of the children in the photographs, and he would be disgusted if it had happened to his niece and nephew.

Mills, of Prospect Road, Stourport-on-Severn, made no money out of his experiment.

Judge Matthews, who ordered the computer and its equipment to be confiscated, said Mills had downloaded porn for “his own sexual gratification”.

But he had been frank with the police and had suffered considerable embarrassment by his offence.