November 2016

Exeter computer gamer caught with ‘disturbing’ abuse images of children

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A computer games fan was found with ‘disturbing’ images of children as young as 18 months being abused when police seized his computer.

Gareth Drake had 137 images and ten movies which included some in the worst category which showed adults raping very young children who were in obvious distress or pain.

Drake, aged 33, was ordered to receive treatment from the probation service to address his use pornography and heavy drinking.

Drake, aged 33, of Grendon Road, Exeter, admitted two offences of making indecent images and was jailed for nine months, suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 25 days rehabilitation work with the probation service.

Recorder Mr Richard Stead told him:”What is particularly concerning are the category A images which show penetration and also show extremely young children, several under the age of two. They are extremely disturbing.

“There are clear aggravating factors in terms of the age and vulnerability of the children depicted in these images. There is also the question of whether they showed discernible pain or distress.

“I have seen reports from a psychologist and the probation service which make it clear you have autistic traits which make life difficult for you.”

Mr Lee Bremridge, prosecuting, said Drake’s use of the internet led police to investigate his computers. An examination found 137 still images and ten movies which he downloaded between June and September 2015.

Of these, 22 stills and seven movies were classified at the highest category A, which means they depict serious abuse of children by adults.

He said the age of the youngest child was estimated to be just 18 months by police. Drake also used chat rooms and some of the images appeared to have come from Skype chats.