May 2017

Judge spares child sexual abuse images addict jail so he can find ‘new focus in life’

A judge told a child sexual abuse images addict he was sparing him a jail sentence in the hope he would find some new purpose in life.

Unemployed university graduate Benjamin Walker (29) was caught with more than 4,000 illegal images and video clips on his computer and he later pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.

Walker told police he had an interest in girls aged as young as 10 

He appeared at Leicester Crown Court for sentencing where Judge Nicholas Dean told Walker he had read a letter from his brother, Alec Walker, setting out the difficulty the defendant had in finding a meaning in life.

The judge said: “Your brother’s letter is as sensitive and intelligent as one might expect and he has a clear insight into the problems you have had.

“You seem to have had a rather long-standing issue with pornography and access to illicit images of children.

“Your life seems to have drifted since you went to university. You don’t seem to have had purpose or focus in your life and I hope pornography did not substitute for direction in your life.

“Thankfully you have recognised the problem you have got and you were very frank and open with the police and have indicated you wish to get help.”

The judge said that people caught with child porn usually received jail terms but that they could be better treated in the community if they showed signs of wanting help.

Walker received a three-year community order, which will include a 90-day sex offender programme. He will also be subject to a sexual harm protection order for five years.

He said: “I hope the rehabilitation will assist you in finding some purpose in your life because it seems to me that’s what you badly need.”

Earlier in the hearing prosecutor Leanne Summers told the judge that police had initially gone to Walker’s brother Daniel’s home on the evening of October 25 last year, having traced illicit online activity to Daniel’s home computer’s IP address.

That led to the defendant, of Avenue South, Earl Shilton, who had recently been using his brother’s computer to download porn.

The defendant had his own computer seized by officers and was arrested. On it, the officers found 27 category A images, which feature the worst kind of child abuse, as well as 332 images and videos they classed as category B and a further 3,897 category C. They had been downloaded at various times between September 2002, when the defendant was just 15, and earlier in 2016.