March 2018

Pervert caught with child abuse images on his computer

A judge said a man caught with child abuse images on his computer recognised the harm he did.

John Crawford, 57, was not sent to prison as a judge said he was in an unusual position.

“You recognise the harm,” said Judge Howard Crowson at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday.

“Very few people standing in your position ever do.

“The recognition of it will act as a strong motivation to keep out of it in future.”

Crawford had 32 indecent images of children – 14 at the most serious level in law – on a laptop seized by police on May 2 last year.

Still and moving images depicted children aged between eight and 15, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.

Crawford admitted three counts of making indecent photographs of children.

He also admitted one charge of possessing 93 extreme pornographic images, not involving children.

Duncan McReddie, defending, said: “Your Honour can be confident in this case there will be no repeat behaviour.

“There is a relatively small number of images over a long period of time.”

He said Crawford made full admissions in police interview and admitted guilt at magistrates’ court.

He added Crawford had moved out of his former home in Thackeray Grove, Acklam, Middlesbrough and it had been sold.

Passing sentence, Judge Crowson said Crawford had an excellent pre-sentence report which “wrestles with the awfulness of what you did”.

He said: “Every time one of these images is viewed it further violates the child that is contained in the image.

“It has an effect, that each viewing might perpetuate the market to a degree. So you have a responsibility.

“I’m going to suspend the sentence. There are good reasons for doing so.”

He said Crawford could get help so any future risk “however small it already is will diminish to negligible”.

He also took into account Crawford’s personal situation and the significant impact of imprisonment.

Crawford was given a 10-month jail term suspended for a year with 30 days’ rehabilitation activity.

He received an indefinite sexual harm prevention order governing his use of computers, devices and the internet.

The judge added: “The primary interest will be ensuring we never have to meet again.

“If we do have to meet again, you’ll almost certainly have to go to prison.

“I have no expectations of seeing you again in these circumstances.”

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