September 2016

Solicitor jailed after being caught with 1000’s of child sex abuse images

A solicitor from Guildford found with more than 12,000 indecent pictures and moving images of children has been jailed.

Police discovered 2,389 of the 12,086 child abuse files on the laptop of Richard Pietrowski, 61, were in the most serious catergory.

The self-employed solicitor’s crimes, over a six-year period, were uncovered after police tracked his IP address following peer to peer sharing.

A computer and three external hard drives were seized when a search warrant was executed at his Fox Grove Lane address in Guildford.

At Guildford Crown Court on Thursday (September 29), Pietrowski was handed a 20-month jail sentence after he previously pleaded guilty to the distribution of indecent images of a child and three charges of making indecent photographs of a child.

John Evans, defending Pietrowski, said: “Mr Pietrowski is a lonely man who for various reasons, financial difficulties, is not in a relationship and has not had a relationship with another adult.

“He has turned to the use of pornography to fill the void.

“That had been legal adult pornography but what that also led to is the gradual slide of illegal pornography, that’s why he finds himself before the court today.

“I would urge you today to show a degree of mercy to Mr Pietrowski, who is a newcomer to the criminal justice system.”

He also told the court Pietrowski had taken steps to address his “obsessive behaviour” including undertaking counselling sessions and that he had completed Lucy Faithful workshops, which tackles the offending.

Mr Evans asked for Judge Stephen Climie to consider handing Pietrowski a community order to help combat his offending.

Lee Harris, prosecuting, said: “The computer and hard drive were analysed. As well as the images there were a number of chats.”

Mr Harris told the court through the use of Skype, there were conversations about looking at young children, including whether they had daughters and how they like children.

Mr Harris said: “In other words, what they like them to look like and that nature.”

He said there are “significant aggravating factors” in this case because of the high number of category A images found and the period of time the offending had lasted.

Judge Climie said the number of images discovered and the number of those in the highest category, meant Pietrowski’s wrong-doings passed the custody threshold.

He said: “You are a man, 61 years of age heading towards your 62nd year who has enjoyed the benefits of operating within the legal profession.

“Despite that [you] chose to embark in sexual gratification through the years of distribution of indecent images of children.”

Pietrowski was placed on the sexual offences register and a depravation order was made for the images.