October 2016

Pervert took photo of child abuse and shared it with paedophiles

A man who had sexual activity with a toddler took a photograph of it and shared it with other paedophiles.

“Socially isolated” John Downs, 26, “fantasised about child abuse and sex with animals”, Hull Crown Court heard.

When he was questioned by police, Downs also said he “had an interest in incest,” prosecutor Patrick Palmer said.

Downs was caught after police received information on September 14 that he was using an internet system called Omegle to upload indecent images.

Officers visited his mother’s home off Spring Bank in west Hull and spoke to Downs, while also seizing a Galaxy mobile phone, an iPad, and memory sticks.

The phone contained four indecent images at Category A – the most serious – three at Category B, and two Category C images.

It also had four Category A movies, and one extreme pornographic image.

The phone also revealed he had been “chatting about child abuse”.

The iPad contained one Category A image, three at Category B, and showed he had been receiving and distributing images.

Downs immediately admitted what he had done in interview.

He would talk about how he had abused children on Omegle, “even though he hadn’t”.

Mr Palmer said: “He said he would be sent images to Dropbox which would contain images of child pornography.”

Downs told police he “thought he had some form of obsessive compulsive disorder”.

Downs, who had no previous convictions, admitted sexual activity with a child, three offences of possessing indecent photographs, two of distributing indecent images, and one of possessing extreme pornography.

A probation service report, described as “extremely helpful” by the judge, said Downs posed a “high risk” of re-offending.

Sentencing Downs to a three-year community order, the judge told him: “It seems to me that it is far better for society in general to subject you to an intensive programme, requiring close monitoring of you over a period of three whole years, rather than extend your period of incarceration for a short period of time, which will simply keep you out of circulation for a short period of time but do nothing to address the underlying risk factor, cogently identified by the probation officer in this case.”

The two requirements of the order are for Downs to complete the Northumbria sex offender programme, and have 60 days rehabilitation.

He must sign the sex offenders register for seven years, and comply with a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.