Pervert downloaded images of children being sexually abused
A student downloaded and viewed scores of images of boys being abused
Tobias Robert Oliver also made an image available for sharing, featuring a child who was said to be “clearly distressed” at what was happening to him.
Durham Crown Court heard that police were alerted to the distribution, which was flagged up as coming from his email address, and a warrant was executed at Oliver’s family home, in Newfield, near Bishop Auckland, on December 31, last year.
Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, said various computer devices were removed, which, on examination, were found to contain 142 images, both stills and moving, of boys, aged five to 16, being sexually abused.
Thirty of these were classed as in the most serious category.
“When questioned, he initially made no reply, but in a second interview, he accepted possessing the images and sending one.
“He claimed he believed no-one featured was under 11, but, clearly, on some of the images, they go down to the age of five.”
Mr Abrahams said Oliver at first told police he did not think there was anything wrong with what he was viewing, and doubted the reality of them.
He then said he had forgotten he had seen the images, but, asked of his reaction at viewing some of the moving footage, he told police he, “freaked out” and considered them, “disgusting”.
Mr Abrahams added: “He said he didn’t know why he had them and viewed them, as he was not sexually attracted to children.”
But, appearing at a plea hearing, Oliver, 19, of New Park, Newfield, admitted one count of distributing and three of making indecent images of children.
The court heard he began viewing such images out of “curiosity” at the age of 15, as he was,“very confused about his sexuality at the time”, and was initially unaware there was anything wrong in doing so.
The court heard that Oliver’s hopes of going on to serve in the Army are now over, as a result of the conviction.
Imposing a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Simon Hickey made Oliver subject to notification as a sex offender and restrictions under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, both for ten years.
He was also ordered to pay £670 prosecution costs.