Rugby pervert jailed for ‘disgusting’ images of children
A SEX offender uploaded an indecent image of a gagged and naked young girl being whipped, using a fake social media account from another person’s IP address.
Christian Conopo, 23, who at the time of the offence lived in St Anne’s Road, Rugby, pleaded guilty to nine charges of making indecent images of children and one of distributing an image.
Conopo, who Warwick Crown Court heard is no longer welcome at that address, was jailed for two years and ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Prosecutor Ben Gow said last year police learned about the image being posted on a social media site.
Officers traced the IP (Internet Profile) address and seized a laptop and two phones from a third party.
They found 30 movies and six images of the most serious Category A, involving young girls being subjected to sex acts, as well as a category B movie Mr Gow described as ‘disgusting’.
And Conopo’s internet search history showed ‘deliberate and systematic searches’ for images of young children.
When Conopo was interviewed he admitted setting up a fake account which he used to access the indecent images.
He said sometimes people would send him indecent images of children, which he claimed he ‘usually deleted’ straight away, but sometimes forgot.
David Everett, defending, said the case had previously been adjourned to give Conopo time to find an address where he could live in the event of the recommendation in a pre-sentence report being followed.
But he had not been able to find anywhere and, in any event, had been warned by the judge at the last hearing that he was more likely to face a custodial sentence.
Mr Everett said there were not a large number of images, but Judge Andrew Lockhart QC interjected: “If there are 30 images of children being abused in the way I’ve read about, this is a grave, grave case.”
Mr Everett said Conopo had been abused as a child, not by a family member, and ‘looking at the images had been his way of coping with the matter.’
Jailing Conopo, the judge told him: “You were responsible for the downloading, possession and distribution of a large number of images of children which were indecent.
“You had used (another) man’s IP address to upload this material, which is something which causes this court some concern.
“Most serious were the category A images. Those images describe the rape of very young children. Every time those images are viewed by someone, those abuses are perpetuated.
“I wholly reject your basis that you were not receiving sexual gratification from this.
“If you were abused, you should have been someone who was wholly against this type of material. I find it hard to accept that could drive this sort of offending.”
Court told man had ‘ghastly’ images of young children
After the police had information that someone had uploaded an indecent image of a naked young girl, they traced the sender’s address to Rugby.
The IP (Internet Profile) address was found to be that of a computer belonging to Christian Conopo’s father, a judge at Warwick Crown Court heard.
But his father was not responsible – and Conopo, 23, of St Anne’s Road, Rugby, pleaded guilty to nine charges of making indecent images of children and one of distributing an image.
Prosecutor Ben Gow said that after the IP address of the computer from which the image had been uploaded had been traced to his parents’ home the police went there and seized a laptop and two phones.
On one iPhone they discovered six images classed as being in category A, the most serious category of offences.
There were also 30 category A movies, as well as a ‘disgusting’ category B movie.
Further still images were also found on the computer, including seven in category A and three in category C, defined as showing children in naked or indecent poses without sexual activity, added Mr Gow.
Sarah Holland, defending, conceded: “The descriptions of these images are quite frankly ghastly.”
There was no pre-sentence report on Conopo because he had failed to keep an appointment with a probation officer.
But Miss Holland told the judge: “I would seek to persuade you that probation intervention could be of assistance, both for public protection purposes and because he has no previous convictions.”
Agreeing to adjourn the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones rejected an application for Conopo to be granted bail.
Remanding him in custody, the judge told him: “The very strong likelihood is of a custodial sentence, but there is material which needs investigating which may affect its length.”