August 2016

Salesman who downloaded child abuse images avoids prison

A pervert who downloaded hundreds of child abuse images has walked free after a judge said treatment was appropriate instead of immediate custody.

Judge Philip St John-Stevens said salesman Michael Cooper, 38, was also contrite and appreciated what he was doing.

Cooper, of Pine Grove, Maidstone, admitted downloading almost 1,500 sordid images and movie clips, 93 of them at the highest level of seriousness.

Oliver Kerr, defending, said Cooper had lost his good name but would retain his employment if he was not sent to prison.

“He is full of remorse,” he said. “He has a real desire to put this behind him and address his offending behaviour.

“He is not in denial, pretending he has no interest in this material and that it has no effect on him sexually.”

Cooper was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

He will also have to complete 180 hours’ unpaid work and have sex offender treatment.

A sexual harm prevention order was imposed and his name will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.