July 2017

Paedophile back before the courts for downloading indecent images of children

A pervert who abused a child more than two decades ago has been back before the courts for downloading indecent images via a smartphone app.

Pictures of children being harmed were on Andrew Berry’s computer monitor when his home was raided by police shortly before 7am on December 28 last year.

Further investigation of the images revealed 910 were in category A – the most serious – with a further 1,609 in category B and 1,339 in category C.

One of the photographs showed a young girl who had been tied to a bed.

Berry, now of Christchurch Road in Bournemouth, also had 17 extreme pornographic images.

He holds previous convictions for abusing a young girl in the 1990s. He filmed the assault.

On Friday, the defendant, 58, appeared before a judge at Bournemouth Crown Court for sentence after admitting three counts of making an indecent photograph of a child and one of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Simon Jones, prosecuting, said: “The National Crime Agency received information on June 25 last year.

“The information received was that indecent images of children had been downloaded via the ChatStep app.

“The IP address of the computer was linked to the address of the defendant.”

Police raided Berry’s address early in the morning, when he was still in bed.

A computer in his bedroom had images of abuse on the screen at the time of the officers’ arrival, the court heard.

Mr Jones said: “There were thumbnails of indecent images on the screen.

“It was clear that the defendant was viewing those images as the police were in attendance.”

Tim Shorter, mitigating, said many of the images downloaded by the defendant were duplicated, rather than all being unique.

“It is still a significant number,” he acknowledged.

“He is probably somebody who is not right at the forefront of the population in terms of his behaviours and ability to cope with the stresses of life.”

Berry told his advocate: “I would never hurt anyone,” the court heard.

However, Mr Shorter said: “In the early 1990s, he did.”

He added: “The death of both of [Berry’s] parents, to whom he was very close, caused him a lot of emotional distress and instead of doing what he should have done – seeking help, bereavement counselling or going to see the GP – he resorted to looking at indecent images on the internet.

“He has been engaging and frank about what he did.”

Judge Jonathan Fuller QC told Berry: “Those images are of real people who are exploited in the most terrible of ways.

“You play a part in that detestable and grotesque criminality, which was filmed as it took place.”

Berry was sentenced to a 24-month community order with 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He must complete an internet sex offender behaviour course, and he will be subject to the requirements of a sexual harm prevention order for five years. He must also comply with notification requirements for five years.