February 2017

Offenders who access child abuse images spared jail

Offenders convicted of accessing child abuse images are being sent on tough courses to stamp out their obsessions.

Highly trained counsellors are running the sessions for the rising numbers of internet perverts tracked down by Cleveland Police’s Online Paedophile Protection team.

The courses are alternatives to immediate jail sentences in cases where the number of images are low with few at the most serious Level A and the public protection can be guaranteed.

On Friday Thomas Holroyd, 22, from Stockton , who admitted making indecent photographs of children between April and June 2015, was given an 18 months jail sentence suspended for two years at Teesside Crown Court with a rehabilitation requirement of 35 days.

Holroyd, of Dovecot Street, Stockton, was told by Judge Tony Briggs: “This will include you having to go to sessions which you will find uncomfortable just to bring it home to you that these are serious matters.

“It can only come into existence by means of the suffering of children.”

Holroyd was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and he was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Timothy Burke, 56, from Guisborough , was dealt with at the same court after he pleaded guilty to making and possessing indecent photographs of children after police took a search warrant to his home on June 18 last year.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said that the police team found a number of internet devices and they seized a quantity of DVDs and compact discs.

Burke had been making indecent photographs of children including 15 at Level A, 26 at Level B and 56 at Level B.

Mr Hadfield added: “He had been using research for indecent photographs of children.

“He admitted in his second interview that it was all his collection.

“One aggravating feature of the case is that it included movies, one of which was 23 minutes long.”