August 2017

Registered sex offender caught with over 2,400 indecent images sectioned under Mental Health Act

A registered sex offender who was caught with more than 2,400 indecent images of children has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Dayle Smith, of Market Street, Shawforth, told police that he ‘found the images disgusting but that the voices in his mind told him to do it’, a court was told.

Investigators said the images found on Smith’s electronic devices were ‘one of the most extreme cases they have found’, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Thomas Clarke said Smith, 22, was found with 272 category A images – the most serious – 227 category B images and 1,940 category C images along with 13 videos with six of category A.

Officers attended his home on July 29 last year as part of a ‘risk management course’ after he was previously convicted for possessing indecent images and made to register as a sex offender.

While at the property his tablet device was searched which contained conversations between ‘girls who appeared to be under the age of 18’.

When police asked if he had any other devices he said he had a phone but had thrown it in the bin because it was broken.

Mr Clarke said when officers told him his actions had put him in breach of a sexual harm prevention order he eventually allowed his mother to find the phone and hand it over to police.

When arrested he admitted that there were indecent images of his phone and that he had ‘tried to delete them’.

Mr Clarke said he had downloaded the images from people messaging him on social media but ‘denied having a sexual desire to look at the indecent images or that he was sexually attracted to children.’

Smith told police that he had also sent pictures of abused children to other people on social media and that ‘voices in his mind had told him to look at the images’.

Mr Clarke told the court: “He said he found the images disgusting but that the voices in his mind told him to do it.”

Smith pleaded guilty to four counts of distributing indecent images and three counts of possessing indecent photographs of children. He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act for an indefinite period to get hospital treatment.

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