August 2016

Pervert avoids jail for possession of ‘extreme’ pornography

A man has avoided a jail sentence after thousands of indecent and “extreme” images were found on his computer.

Police searched Richard Farrell’s home in Hawthorn Way in Cambridge and seized a number of electronic devices. On these devices, they found in excess of 2,500 indecent images, including depictions of acts of bestiality involving dogs and horses, as well as children in sexual situations.

Farrell, 46, appeared at Cambridge Crown court today. He had previously pleaded guilty to possessing indecent and extreme images.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Seely told the court Farrell had kept the images secret from his family in a shed in the garden.

“Officers attended the address in Hawthorn Way. The address was linked with a Tumblr account that had uploaded an indecent image of a child.

“Mr Farrell had, at that stage, gone to his outside office and locked the doors and closed the curtains. Officers said he was reluctant for them to view his office, though he didn’t physically resist them.

“On searching inside, some cannabis was located along with the computer equipment.”

Farrell was arrested and was interviewed in relation to the images. The court heard he made admissions about using the images for his own sexual gratification, but that he was not sexually attracted to children.

Mitigating, Mark Shelley said Farrell had never used an email address to directly contact children and that, at the time he had been keeping the images, he had been struggling having been diagnosed with, what he thought would be, a terminal illness.

“He was diagnosed with what he thought was a terminal illness,” said Mr Shelley. “His father had just died not long before. He had anxiety and severe depression. He doesn’t know why he accessed those images, they hold no attraction for him. He has no interest in bestiality. Whether it is a symptom of his depression, he doesn’t know.”

Mr Shelley said Farrell was seeing a psychologist, which he had instigated of his own accord to try to overcome his problem.

Farrell was handed an eight-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years.

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Haworth said: “When the police searched the computer equipment, they discovered up to 2,500 images of children and extreme images. The possession of such images is against the law.”

Farrell was also handed a sexual harm prevention order, which will monitor his internet use.