Convicted sex offender avoids prison after breaching prevention order
A convicted sex offender who gained sexual gratification by looking at photos of young children in gymnastic poses and “upskirt” footage that he found on Youtube has escaped a prison sentence.
Tony Robert Childs was banned from viewing such material after being made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) following his previous conviction for sexual offences.
However when police did a random check at his home and discovered what he had been doing he was arrested, Somerset Magistrates were told.
When Childs, 48, of Cowl Street, Shepton Mallet, appeared in the dock at Yeovil they were told that he had stated he would “always have a sexual interest in young children”.
He said that viewing the images had made him feel better but he now wanted the help of the Probation Service to help prevent him offending again.
“I want to explore things to make myself safer and protect other people and make them safer”, he told the court.
The defendant pleaded guilty to breaching the terms of a SOPO made by Luton Crown Court on December 12, 2011 by using the internet to search for “pre-teen gymnastics” and “pre-teen upskirt footage” at Shepton Mallet between June 18 and August 16 last year.
Prosecutor Robert Reid said that when the defendant was made subject to the SOPO it placed a number of restrictions on him including a prohibition from him accessing the internet apart from educational purposes, banking, shopping and various other named activities.
“On August 10 the police did a home visit and examined his laptop and found the search items of pre-teen gymnastics and pre-teen upskirt footage which had been visited on various dates,” he said.
“He was interviewed and said that he would always have a sexual interest in children and at the time had been feeling low following the break-up of a relationship.
“He decided to cheer himself up by looking at some pictures of children and because it was on Youtube he didn’t believe he would come across any indecent images of children, but has now accepted he has breached his order.”
Childs told the magistrates that he recognised he had done wrong but had been getting over the break-up of two relationships at the time.
He said that one of the relationships was for five years and he then got into another one which didn’t work out and it really knocked him.
“I did not appreciate what I was doing and should have used the techniques that I have learnt from my courses, however I turned to the internet and thought I was being a bit clever by using Youtube,” he said.