April 2015

No jail for man found with child sex abuse images stash

A Malvern man has avoided jail despite collecting a series of indecent images and videos of children over a ten year period.

Sean Richardson, of Lansdowne Road, was found in possession of nearly 200 images – downloaded between 2004 and 2014 – some 80 of which were Category A images, which included movies of children being sexually assaulted.

The 49-year-old had tried to take his own life due to the ‘addiction’ and while he was in the care of medics he told them he had been using the material, which ‘stimulated and aroused’ him, Worcester Crown Court heard last Friday (April 17).

Richardson, who used to work as a technician in the town, told officers he knew what he was doing was wrong as most of the children involved were about eight-years-old but ‘one or two’ were toddlers, the court was also told.

But despite the starting point for the offences being a 12-month jail term, His Honour Judge Michael Cullum spared Richardson custody.

He instead handed him a three-year community order, with supervision, and told him to complete the community sexual offending programme.

“These are not victimless offences,” Judge Cullum said. “You had secured yourself in a world of electronic activity which no doubt depressed you from reality.

“The reality of what is in these images are children being sexually assaulted and those children’s lives being ruined and that is your responsibility and for your self-gratification.

“That is the seriousness of these offences and without the consumer there would not be this vile market.

“It is once you tried to take your own life as an addiction to this sort of material you self-reported and brought yourself to court.

“You now have a criminal conviction and your feelings are known.”

Richardson was also ordered to register as a sex offender for five years and given a sexual harm prevention order, with no access to the internet, for ten years.

“I am satisfied there is a requirement here to protect the public from further serious sexual harm,” Judge Cullum added.

“Of course, if you re-offend, but also if you choose not to attend that group you will exit court on the next occasion where you thought you would go today, which is custody.”

He was also told to pay court costs of £350.