April 2017

Judge lets sex offender stay out of jail ‘for treatment’

A Melksham father who downloaded more than 15,000 child abuse images has escaped jail and been given a community sentence so he can get treatment for his problems.

Gary Caskie, of Turners Court, Melksham, had tried to claim that the huge haul of vile movies and pictures had been put on his computer by someone else.

But after an expert examined the 26-year-old’s machine he changed his plea and admit downloading the images.

Now a judge at Swindon Crown Court has given him a three-year community order and told him to complete an internet sex offender’s programme, saying he could not send him to prison for long enough for him to get the help he needs.

Judge Tim Mousley QC added that even if he suspended a jail term, Caskie could not do the course in the community as they take three years, and he can only suspend for two years.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said as well as the images police also found a number of ‘unambiguous’ search terms had been used by him to hunt down the material.

Caskie admitted six counts of making indecent images of children between October 2010 and November 2015.

Tony Bignall, defending, said “It took him a while to face up to it,” adding he suffered from anxiety and depression.

He said that he was living with his parents and they are supporting him.

Passing sentence Judge Tim Mousley QC said “What makes your case serious is not so much the category of the images that you had but it is the quantity.

“I can’t overlook the fact that there were over 15,000 images of children, albeit in the lowest category.

“In most of these images the children were very young and many of them were moving images.

“Each child that appears in every one of these images is a victim of sexual abuse, no matter what category that image falls in to.

“It is only recently you have accepted your blame, you sought to get out of it. The number of images quite justifies an immediate period of imprisonment.

“However for technical reasons if I were to impose a period of imprisonment you would not receive the treatment that is available to you and is recommended in the probation report.

“Not only would you be able to receive that treatment, as it takes three years, if I suspended sentence for two years. For those reasons I am not going to impose a custodial sentence.”

He passed a three year community order with 40 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and told Caskie he would also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and must register as a sex offender for five years.