January 2018

David Linnen, 65, avoids jail term for child sex abuse images

A man has been handed a community order after being found with hundreds of indecent images of children and animals.

David Linnen, 65, of Prospect Avenue, Stanford-le-Hope, admitted three counts of possessing indecent images of children and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images of animals.

The court heard how Linnen had come to the attention of Essex Police after concerns were raised about content on his computer. As a result, a number of his devices were seized.

Police found 38 category A images – the most serious in nature – as well as 13 category B images and seven category C images.

They also found 187 “grossly offensive” and extreme pornographic images which portrayed a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal.

Sentencing Linnen, Judge David Pugh said: “These offences are aggravated by the fact that some of the images included were moving images.

“These offences, particularly those involving children, are not victimless crimes.

“The reason why children are subjected to this form of vile abuse is because people like you are prepared to watch it.”

The court heard how, when forensically examining Linnen’s search history, they found that his search terms included “pre-teen hard core”, “very young little girl” and “very young little girl aged eight”.

Judge Pugh said: “You are now 65.

“You have been of previously good character for 64 years and that’s a significant factor as far as I’m concerned.

“I also bear in mind that you were suffering from depression.

“I also take into account that although these offences are serious, the number of images you were in possession of are not as high as this court has seen.

“I accept that you were remorseful and that you are now not living alone and are willing to engage in rehabilitation.

“I am going to take a somewhat exceptional approach with you Mr Linnen.”

Judge Pugh made David Linnen the subject of a two-year community order.

He must complete 60 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and will be made subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

Linnen was also fined £1,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £340.

Judge Pugh added: “If you fail to comply you will be brought back to court to be resentenced.”