Paedophile spared jail as judge criticises sex offender treatment limbo
A paedophile was told to ‘hang his head in shame’ after being found with child abuse images discovered during a separate probe dropped by investigators.
David Gore, 60, of Conwy Court, Castlefields, Runcorn, pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing and making indecent images in relation to eight pictures, seven of which were of the lowest category of seriousness and featured boys and girls under the age of 14.
One was in the worst Category A bracket and related to a video in which the victim was a girl aged between 10 and 13 years.
The court heard Gore’s hard drive also contained remnants or fragments of older images.
Jo Maxwell, prosecuting, said the defendant’s computer tower, laptop and phone were seized after police arrested him in September 2016 over allegations that ultimately were found to lack sufficient evidence to press charges and undermined by ‘credibility issues with the complainant’.
Gore’s phone also contained ‘sexual discussions’ with someone known as ‘Chuff44’ being investigated by police, and Gore had shared two pictures of a young child with him.
He initially denied the allegations of possessing the images but later entered guilty pleas. The defendant had no previous convictions.
Judge Patrick Thompson said he found it ‘remarkable’ and was ‘disturbed’ that offenders such as Gore were not deemed serious enough to be placed on a sexual offenders treatment programme.
Mr Knight said studies had found there was little difference in the likelihood of re-offending between those who had completed the course and those who had not.
Judge Thompson sentenced Gore to nine months in prison suspended for two years.
Gore, who is unemployed, was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to run for 10 years and a 35-day rehabilitation order to ‘challenge’ his behaviour.
He was placed on the sex offender register and ordered to pay £535 costs at a rate of £50 a month.
The judge said that no such work to address Gore’s offending would take place if he went to prison and he would be out in a six months.
Sentencing Gore, Judge Thompson said: “I’m afraid this court is sick and tired of having to deal with men like you who access disgusting material involving the abuse of children, and as you have done in the pre-sentence report minimised their involvement – ‘it just popped up when they were accessing pornography, they don’t have a sexual interest in children’.