Pervert spared prison after downloading 1,000 child abuse images
AN unemployed Southampton man with “too much time to himself” downloaded 1,000 child abuse images for his “own sexual satisfaction”.
But first time offender Christopher Girdlestone was spared prison by a judge, who urged him to get help for his “clear attraction to young children”.
During a hearing at Southampton Crown Court, Judge Peter Henry was told how the 27-year-old downloaded 1,000 images between May and March last year.
These included over 600 category C images, as well as a combination of 67 still and moving category A images.
Judge Henry said: “I’m very satisfied that your client (Girdlestone) might well have a sexual attraction to children.
“That’s my opinion and it’s an opinion I share because of the search terms he used.”
Sentencing, Judge Henry handed down a 10-month sentence, suspended for two years, and urged Girdlestone to get help.
He said: “Having looked at a description of the images they are quite repulsive images of young children being abused in the most appalling way.
“You are a young man who is no real direction in life at the moment.
“You spend far too much time at home and you live with your mum which had led you to wallow in this appalling state.”
He added: “With all the circumstances I have to pass a custodial sentence, but on this occasion I’m prepared to suspend it.”
Girdlestone, who originally pleaded not guilty to possessing the images before changing his plea, was ordered to pay £1,500 in court costs.
Girdlestone, of Avon Road, Southampton, was also told to do 120 hours of unpaid work, 60 hours of rehabilitation treatment and sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.