June 2016

Spennymoor man spared jail after admitting possession of indecent images

A man has been spared jail after he admitted possessing indecent images of children.

Richard Broughton, of Keldmere, in Spennymoor, County Durham, was found to have a raft of prohibited images dating from 2011 to 2016 on his laptop when it was seized by police.

Durham Crown Court today (July 1) heard a forensic examination showed the 40-year-old had five photographs of extreme pornography and 55 indecent images of children.

It was found that he was a member of a sharing website, on which he had left offensive messages, and that he had set up a female profile which he used to engage in conversations about abusing children.

The court heard Broughton, who has no previous convictions, claimed he “wasn’t in control of himself” and did not remember the conversations, describing them as a “blur and dream”.

He has lost his job and marriage and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his work as a fireman and a paramedic.

For making indecent images of children, Broughton was sentenced to ten months in custody to run concurrently with six months in custody each for possession of extreme pornography and possession of prohibited images of children.

The sentence was suspended for two years.

Judge Simon Hickey said: “I suspend the sentence because you are entitled for once, and only once, to draw on your good character.”

Broughton was also made subject to a ten-year sexual harm prevention order.