July 2016

Computer expert hooked on child abuse images

A computer expert who is addicted to child abuse images faces losing his career after he was convicted in court.

Samuel Murray was an only child whose parents separated and he spent hours alone in his room with his computer.

When police raided the 22-year-old’s home last year they seized six devices on which he had been watching internet child porn of the most serious level.

Prosecutor David Crook told Teesside Crown Court that police had received information about software designer Murray when they executed a search warrant on April 9 last year.

He said that Murray had 269 images at the most serious Level A, another 746 at Level B and 1,062 at Level C on computers and a mobile phone.

The child victims were aged from three to 12, and the material included a one hour child sexual abuse film and one of sex with an animal.

Murray had no previous convictions.

Mr Crook added: “The Crown say that there are aggravating features in this case, in that there were a substantial number of Level A images and the age of the children.”

John Nixon, defending, said Murray faced losing his job once he told his employers about his conviction.

He said that Murray had not originally sought out the images, but they came to him on his computer when he was leading a fairly isolated life after his parents separated and he lacked the strong guidance of a father.

Mr Nixon added: “He is an intelligent young man who had worked hard at college.

“He is an individual who would benefit from the proposed treatment programme requirements, and we would all benefit from that if it would help to put him straight.”

The judge, Recorder Tim Roberts QC, told him: “From what I have read about you, although you are now only 22 years of age, you have been skirting around this sort of behaviour since your early teens.

“It seems that you have not made strong, healthy, positive relations with other people but have looked to the computer for gratification.

“If I simply send you to prison today nothing will have been done to rectify the serious persistent disorder that you have developed.

“It is in the best interest of the community that I give you that intervention.”

Murray, of Yarm Lane, Stockton, was given a nine months jail sentence suspended for two years with supervision through a Sex Offender’s Programme, a 35 day accredited programme requirement, a Sexual Offence’s Prevention Programme restricting his use of the Internet for 10 years, and he was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

He pleaded guilty to nine offences of making and possessing indecent images of children and extreme pornography.