October 2017

Darlington man caught with child abuse images 

AN online pervert tried to destroy evidence as police knocked on his door to investigate his computer use, a court heard.

Michael Jones, 33, had been downloading images of child abuse as well as extreme pornography and “sexually-manipulated” cartoons.

He told officers who entered his Darlington home: “I’m glad you’re here, and this has happened. I really needed this to happen.”

A smashed computer hard-drive was found in his living room, and software to wipe clean his lap-top was running at the time.

Teesside Crown Court was told that the lap-top hard-drive was removed and hundreds of illegal photographs and films were found.

Prosecutor Nicholas Rooke said unemployed Jones’s library of filth was saved into a folder with the title “Possibly Illegal”. In an interview with police, he said he looked at the images on his lap-top and saved them to the external hard-drive he smashed.

He said he last downloaded and viewed the material days earlier, and admitted he did it for sexual kicks and it was a “compulsion”.

Jones admitted three charges of making indecent images and one each of possessing prohibited images and possessing extreme pornography.

The court heard on Thursday there were six pictures of child abuse, more than 600 pseudo photographs, and 61 still and moving showing sex with animals.

Simon Perkins, mitigating, said the manipulated pictures often involved cartoon characters whose images were edited to show illegal acts. Jones, of Brighton Road, Darlington, was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, by Judge Peter Armstrong.

He was also ordered to go on a sex offender treatment programme and u undergo a ten-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Judge Armstrong also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order restricting his computer use and banning unsupervised contact with under-16s.

He told Jones, who will also be on the sex offenders’ register for ten years: “There were a large number of movies, always a worrying trait.”But there were no contact offences. You do not need to be in hospital, but what you need is an intensive sex offender treatment programme.”