September 2016

No jail time for man with images of child sexual abuse

A MAN has avoided a prison sentence for possessing indecent images of children.

Christopher Hall was found to have a number of category A, B and C photographs and videos involving children after police raided his home in Hurn Road, Matchams, in April 2013.

The 60-year-old was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

Bournemouth Crown Court was told on Friday that Hall’s marriage had collapsed and he was suffering with depression when the online activity began, in November 2011.

Dorset Police took computer equipment from Hall’s home after they were tipped off by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre which monitors such activity.

Hall said he was in the Philippines at the time of the raid.

Following a visit to an alcohol and drug rehabilitation clinic where Hall confessed to the goings-on, he voluntarily went to the police where he gave “an extensive interview”.

Prosecuting was Adam Norris who told the hearing there were 26 photos and seven images relating to category A, 19 photos and four videos relating to category B, and 152 pictures relating to category C.

The court was told that one of the victims involved was aged under six.

Hall had told police that he had been approached by underage persons and “had no particular interest in children”, Mr Norris said.

Mitigating was Kevin Hill who said Hall was of good character but would be considered ‘too vulnerable’ for prison due to his worsening health.

Judge Jonathan Fuller QC sentenced Hall to eight months for the category A items, four months for the category B items, and three months for category C items, to run concurrently, suspended for two years.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order to last 10 years, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge.

Judge Fuller said Hall “well understood the depravity”.