January 2018

Southampton cleaner had 200 indecent images of children on his laptop

MORE than 200 indecent images of children were discovered on the on the computer of a Southampton cleaner.

Gerard Stephen Putt, 56, had the images on his computer for two-and-a-half years.

Southampton Magistrates Court was told how Putt would visit chatrooms that he “knew he shouldn’t have been”.

The court heard that he was found to have 204 category C images of children on his Lenovo laptop.

He also had seven category B images, which he said inadvertently ended up on his device through chatroom pop-ups.

The court also heard how he the cleaner shared images of children, although non-indecent images, with others in the chatroom.

The Southampton father has now had to leave his family home and have only supervised visits with his children.

Prosecuting, solicitor Dan O’Neill said: “He went into the chatrooms that he knew he shouldn’t have been in.

“He took that risk and the pop-ups appeared. That is how he believes the category B images got onto his laptop.”

Defending, Gaylene Coles said Putt had no previous convictions.

She added: “Mr Putt gave full admissions and he is very emotional, embarrassed and ashamed. He has had to move out of the family home and have supervised visits with his children.”

Magistrate Graham Beck said that although he wouldn’t be sending Putt to prison, the fact that the images were in his possession for ‘such a long time’ played an important part in his sentencing.He said: “You shared images of children you knew in one of these chatrooms, and that is a breach of trust.“This wasn’t over a period of weeks or months, it was for such a long time and that has played an important part in our decision.

“You did not have a high volume of category B images and we have taken that into account.”

Putt was given a 26-week prison sentence suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 60 rehabilitation activity requirement days and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £85 costs and £115 victim surcharge.