February 2017

Pervert caught with child sexual abuse images

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A “DISGUSTING” man who was caught with child sexual abuse images has been slammed by the judge who spared him a prison sentence.

Stephen Harding, 47, had still and moving images of children on two hard drives, as well as pornography involving adults, dogs and horses, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Rebecca Young told the court that some of the moving images featured “girls aged around about 11 to 12 years of age”.

She said one of the hard drives had “36 illegal files” on it, while the other had “a number of still and moving images” on it and “20 extreme pornography videos”.

Police searched Harding’s home in March last year after receiving a tip-off that indecent images were available for sharing, the court heard.

Miss Young added: “He claimed in interview to have simply been searching for older teenagers and adult pornography, and accidentally came across these.”

Judge Jonathan Rose gave Harding a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to do 150 hours of unpaid work. Harding will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years and was also made the subject of a 30-day rehabilitation activity order.

Judge Rose said to Harding: “For about 40 years you have led an impeccable life. You are an educated man. You have had employment, I think, since leaving school.

“You left school with qualifications and those qualifications have undoubtedly stood you in good stead. And you have worked hard.

“You have also led somewhat a solitary life. And it is quite probable that, in leading that solitary lifestyle, that you have resorted to this frankly disgusting behaviour.

“You have searched for this particular imagery, in both still and moving images, of children involved in sexual activity and of adults engaging in sexual activity with animals.

“Even though you have protested your innocence to the police, I do not accept that you do not have these interests.

“It is time for you to realise that you have this unhealthy, unlawful and wholly inappropriate sexual interest.

Judge Rose added: “The basis of the public’s loathing of offences such as this is that every time you view a paedophilic image, you are abusing the child.

“It is supply and demand. It is only because of men like you that wish to see imagery like this, that these photos and moving images are made.

“When they are made, the person making the film is abusing that child. So you are also abusing that child.

“I take the view that you should leave this court in deep shame.”

Judge Rose also said: “I believe that a man of your intelligence and ability can respond to the sort of treatment available to you.”

Harding, 47, of Clayton Road, Bradford, had pleaded guilty to the offences at a hearing at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court on January 24.

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