July 2017

Kwik Fit supervisor caught with indecent images

A SEX offender caught with a hoard of indecent images looked on emotionless as he walked from court with a suspended sentence.

Kwik Fit supervisor Thomas Earl confessed he stared at the illegal material of abused youngsters, which included a toddler and teenagers.

But he initially lied to police, claiming he stumbled upon the snaps and videos while downloading music online.

The 26-year-old, of Restharrow Mead, Bicester, came before Recorder Rhona Campbell, who spared Earl from an immediate jail term so he could work with probation officers to address his issues.

Handing Earl a 10-month sentence, suspended for 18-months, she added: “The reason why young boys and girls are abused and raped is because there is a market for it and that’s you.

“If you weren’t looking at it, people would not be doing this to children across the world.”

Police burst into Earl’s home after suspecting someone in the property had been sharing the illegal material on November 22 last year.

Officers uncovered a collection of 41 images and videos, and noticed Earl had attempted to download hundreds more, prosecutor Robert Lindsey said.

Peer-to-peer software to share the material was installed on his Samsung laptop, while specific search terms were used to hunt for the snaps and videos online.

Earl told interviewing officers he would visit a peer-to-peer site to download music but sometimes received ‘bad files’ containing the indecent images.

The defendant claimed he did not like the material and would delete it straight away but continued to visit the site, Oxford Crown Court was told on Thursday.

Defence barrister Lucy Ffrench said Earl admitted he scoured the internet for the indecent images but struggled to explain why he gazed at the material.

She added: “[He] accepts he was not entirely honest, or honest at all, in the first police interview. He does accept that it was a compulsion of his but denies it was a sexually motivated compulsion.”

The barrister went on to say Earl, who lives with his fiancée and her mother, feared he would lose his job if news of his conviction was reported 

Earl admitted three counts of making indecent photographs of a child and four counts of attempting to make an indecent photograph of a child between August 2015 and November 2016.

He was made subject to a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement, a 30-day sex offenders treatment programme and a sexual harm prevention order.

The defendant, who must pay £425 costs, must also sign the sex offenders register for a decade.

Recorder Campbell ordered to forfeiture and destruction of the laptop.