November 2016

Man driven from home after sharing indecent picture of a child avoids jail

Michael Wren, 42, leaving Teesside Crown Court

A man driven from his home after sharing an indecent picture of a child using WhatsApp has avoided jail.

Michael Wren, 42, admitted four charges of making illegal images of children as young as five when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court last month.

He admitted three counts of making indecent photographs of children – two of making illegal images in June last year, one of making an indecent photo on a date before March 7 this year.

He also pleaded guilty to one charge of distributing an indecent image via WhatsApp to a female on September 12 last year.

Following the hearing, The Gazette reported how furious locals targeted Wren, throwing missiles at his house and driving him from his Pallister Park home on Fransham Road.

Yesterday, at Teesside Crown Court, prosecutor Harry Hadfield said Wren had only been caught out when he was arrested on October 20 2015 for an unrelated incident.

“When he was arrested, he had a smart phone in his possession,” said Mr Hadfield.

“Six indecent images of children were found on the handset.”

Mr Hadfield went on to say that on March 6, while on police bail, Wren was again arrested and was found with another phone.

When officers examined the second mobile, they found a further 25 indecent images.

One of the images – too disturbing to describe – was deemed to be in the most serious category in law.

After the phone was confiscated and inspected, police discovered he had shared one of the indecent images with a woman using WhatsApp.

Mr Hadfield added that the case was aggravated because all of the children involved were prepubescent.

Alex Bousfield, defending, said: “He’s not denied them but says he can’t recall committing the offences.

“There’s a very limited number (of images) compared to other cases.”

Mr Bousfield added that his client had been ran out of the area he lived in and had only limited previous convictions for unconnected matters.

Sentencing Wren, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough said: “This is not a victimless crime.

“It continues the trade in the abuse of children.

“Those who look at images like this simply encourage those who create these images.

“You need help in changing any thinking you have about this kind of image.

“You have already suffered in the community by those who view you as a paedophile.”

Wren was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

He was ordered to take part in a sexual offenders programme and was given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

His internet use will be restricted and monitored by police.

October 2016

Man admits making indecent pictures of children

A 42-year-old man has pleaded guilty to making indecent pictures of children – and distributing an illegal image via WhatsApp.

Michael Wren admitted four charges when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Monday.

He admitted three counts of making indecent photographs of children – two of making illegal images in June last year, one of making an indecent photo on a date before March 7 this year.

He also pleaded guilty to one charge of distributing an indecent image via WhatsApp to a named female recipient on September 12 last year.

Alex Bousfield, defending, said Wren was a working man with limited convictions and an issue with depression.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, ordered a pre-sentence report into Wren before sentencing on October 30.

He told Wren, of Fransham Road, Pallister Park , Middlesbrough: “You’ve had the good sense to plead guilty to this indictment.

“In the fullness of time you’ll be given appropriate credit for those pleas of guilty.

“I’ll grant you bail in the meantime.”