March 2008

OAP who tried to lure boy, 13, is spared jail

A PENSIONER who sexually groomed a 13- year-old boy has been spared a jail term.

Kenneth Brown, 71, gave the boy condoms and tried to lure him into a camper vanto show him pornographic material.

When the 13-year-old’s worried father came to Brown’s house to investigate, the pensioner showed him a catalogue for pornographic DVDs which he kept in the van.

Police found around 1,400 pornographic images of children at Brown’s house in The Homing, Cambridge.

They also found video footage, taken by Brown from his camper van, of children playing on football pitches and beaches.

Cambridge Crown Court heard that Brown, a former engineer who lives with his 100-year-old mother, denied any sexual interest in children when questioned by police.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth ordered him to undergo a three-year supervision order.

Judge Hawkesworth told Brown he was concerned by the pensioner’s “complete failure to understand the legitimate public concerns your behaviour arouses”.

He added: “Your behaviour has been unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the future.”

Judge Hawkesworth said he did not believe Brown posed a serious risk to the public, as he doubted the pensioner would ever be “bold enough to overstep the mark” and engage in sexual contact with a child.

Brown pleaded guilty to one count of sexual grooming of a child and 19 counts of making and possessing sexual images of children.

Sally Hickling, prosecuting, said Brown had given condoms to the boy and made sexual remarks to him over three days in November last year.

Lindsay Cox, mitigating, said Brown had never had any form of sexual relationship.

He said: “The consequences of imprisonment for him would be marked.

He is elderly, he is the sole carer for his 100-year-old mother. He does not pose a serious risk to the public.”

Judge Hawkesworth banned Brown from unsupervised contact with children and from owning video equipment.

He also ordered that the camper van should be confiscated, and that the pornographic images of children should be destroyed.

Brown must sign the sex offenders’ register for the next five years.