July 2017

Man who downloaded child abuse images while wife was sleeping avoids jail

A Bardney man who was caught with over 100 images of child sexual abuse images was spared jail after a judge decided the public would be better protected by treatment.

Paul Cottard, 50, was interviewed after police executed a search warrant at his Bardney home in November last year.

Lincoln Crown Court heard a computer tower and laptop were seized by police and later analysed by experts.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said the devices were found to contain 105 indecent images of children which Cottard had downloaded over a three week period.

They included seven videos and 15 still images in the most serious category of A, two videos and 18 still images in category B and two videos and 61 still images in category C.

Mr Howes told the court Cottard was “frank” with police admitting that he was glad to be arrested and needed stopping.

The court heard Cottard became addicted to downloading the images while his wife was asleep.

Sunil Khanna, mitigating, said the number of images was relatively small and viewed over a short period.

Mr Khanna told the court: “He was on a site downloading movies when child pornography popped up.

“Initially he was curious, but it became addictive and he could not stop looking.

“He was disgusted with himself and was waiting for the knock at the door.”

Cottard, of Harvey Kent Gardens, Bardney, admitted three charges of making indecent images of children following the search on November 9.

He was sentenced to a three year community order with a sexual offences treatment program, must register as a sex offender for five years and was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Passing sentence Recorder William Harbage QC told Cottard he believed the public would be better protected by a lengthy community order rather than a short prison sentence.

But the Recorder warned Cottard: “You should be under no illusions real children were victimised in the making of these images.”