Chelmsford Tesco manager avoids jail after downloading extreme animal pornography
A supermarket manager who was caught with stash of extreme animal pornography after he met a man on Grindr for sex has avoided jail.
David Heath, 35, a manager at the Tesco superstore on Princes Road, Chelmsford, was exchanging messages over the gay dating app with a paedophile.
Unknown to both, police were monitoring the known sex offender when Heath met him online.
Officers raided Heath’s house in Sawbridgeworth on August 10 last year, suspecting he was also in possession of child abuse images.
Instead, police from the paedophile unit found 9,243 extreme pornographic images and 29 videos showing people having sex with dogs and horses.
They did not find any child abuse images on his devices.
Heath claimed he was just ‘playing along’ with paedophiles online to meet them for sex.
At Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, he was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for a year.
Heath, who has diagnosed with HIV in 2011, was arrested and police seized two Samsung mobile phones and a Bell laptop for forensic examination.
Prosecutor Malachy Pakenham said Heath was “taken into custody and during interview admitted to chatting to others online and knew of their sexual interest in children”.
“He said he went along with it as he wanted to meet the person he was chatting to for sex but was not interested in children.”
Mr Pakenham said Heath admitted he used to search for ‘animal sex’ on the internet and watched bestial pornography once a week.
“He did not want animal on animal sex, just animal on human sex,” he added.
“He said he had had gone through a stage of looking at human and animal pornography in 2014 and 2015 but had not looked at it for one and a half years.”
Heath admitted he had downloaded five to ten items of extreme pornography but had “looked at lots”.
Mr Pakenham said it was the “largest amount of indecent extreme pornography” he had ever prosecuted and recommended the case be sent to the crown court for sentence.
The Tesco manager, originally from Cornwall, admitted downloading the extreme animal porn but claimed he did not realise it was illegal.
After a long period of deliberation, Magistrate Senha Kooros said: “This offence has crossed the custody threshold due to the gravity of the offences, the quantity of images found and the prolonged period of you viewing them.
“For this reason, we are imposing a custodial sentence for a period of six months.
“However, because you have pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, made full and frank admissions, your previous good character and your character references this custodial sentence will be suspended for the period of 12 months.”
Ms Kooros said due to his early guilty plea they would not send the case to the crown court.
Heath, of Lawrence Moorings, Sheering, admitted to possessing extreme pornographic images portraying an act of intercourse/oral sex with a dead/alive animal.
He was handed a six-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months.
Heath was ordered to complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 30 days, 180 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Chelmsford Tesco store manager downloaded extreme animal porn after meeting paedophile on Grindr
A supermarket store manager who was found in possession of extreme animal pornogrpahy is facing jail after police caught him chatting to a paedophile on Grindr.
David Heath, of Lawrence Moorings, Sheering, downloaded around 10 images and videos involving people having sex with dogs and horses on his mobile phones and laptop in 2016.
Heath, 35, who manages the Tesco superstore on Princes Road, claims he collected the sick bestiality porn after meeting a man on gay dating app Grindr.
Unknown to Heath, police were monitoring the other Grindr user, who wasn’t named in court as he was a known sex offender.
When officers raided Heath’s Sawbridgeworth home in August last year, he admitted to downloading the vile images but claimed he didn’t realise it was illegal.
Despite officers suspicions that Heath had downloaded child abuse images, none were found on his devices.
Heath admitted one count of possessing extreme pornography at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today (April 4).
Prosecutor Fiona Willis said: “Police searched Mr Heath’s address on 10 August.
“He stated he had chatted to a guy on Grindr who was interested in that sort of thing.”
The court heard that possessing extreme pornography can result in a sentence of up to three years in prison.
Adjourning sentence, magistrate Ralph Spark said: “We are going to ask probation to make a report on you so the next sentencing bench can work out what to do – that will take place today.
“You are released on unconditional bail.
“Any further crimes committed while on bail under The Bail Act will be treated more seriously by the next sentencing bench.”
Heath will next appear in court at 9.30am on April 21.