July 2016

Bar worker sentenced for downloading child abuse images

A BAR worker who downloaded pornographic images and videos of children has been sentenced to a community order.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Joseph Dart kept a collection of illegal images stored on computer equipment in his bedroom.

Lindsay Thomas, prosecuting, said that the offences came to light on February 5 last year when police called at his home in Andrew Close, Greenmount.

Analysis of his Dell laptop and external hard drive revealed he had 327 indecent pictures of children plus 121 videos.

Most of the still images were categorised as B or C, but 50 of the videos fell into the most serious A category involving boys as young as aged five.

Mrs Thomas said 32-year-old dart admitted having downloading the images and videos once or twice a year and claimed he had viewed them two to three times a week.

He stated that he looked for images of boys aged 10 upwards and was sexually attracted to them.

“He said that he had been looking at indecent images on his computer for the last 15 years – as long as he could remember,” said Mrs Thomas.

Ian Johnstone, defending, described Dart as a “socially inadequate and introverted young man” who only came out to his family as being gay last year.

“He has never had a relationship. His relationship is, in effect, with his laptop,” said Mr Johnstone.

He added that since his arrest Dart, of previous good character, has sought counselling for his behaviour.

“He is genuinely remorseful, disgusted with and ashamed of himself,” said Mr Johnstone.

“It is an unfortunate situation involving an unfortunate young man.”

Dart, who pleaded guilty to one count of possessing indecent images or children and six further charges of downloading indecent images of children, was sentenced to a three year community order by judge Richard Gioserano.

Dart was ordered to undertake 10 days of rehabilitation activities and participate in a sex offenders’ treatment programme, which Judge Gioserano stated would better protect the public than sentencing him to a short prison term.