Widnes man spared jail for indecent child images
A Widnes man has been sentenced to two years of community service after pleading guilty to possessing 213 indecent images of children.
Geoffrey Allford, 50, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday, April 5
Recorder David Turner QC sentenced Allford to a 24 month community order, 30 days of rehabilitation activity, imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
Allford’s offences first came to light in November 2016 when Cheshire police were alerted to his web activities by an agency monitoring who accesses illegal files online.
The agency tracked Allford’s IP address and informed Cheshire police, who searched his property and seized a laptop with 213 indecent images, both moving and still, of girls between the ages of 10 and 13 years old.
Allford admitted that he had acquired the material through web searches and downloads via file to file sharing networks.
Derek Jones, prosecuting, said that Allford had attempted to hide his crimes by using a tour browser to conceal his identity.
Mr Jones added that those who view material in this way ‘think they can hide in their bedroom’ and are committing a ‘victimless crime’.
The prosecution told the court that Allford’s activities had started in November 2014 and continued until February 2017.
When first interviewed by police, Allford denied sexual interest in the images and claimed he had been searching for them to verify information he had heard about websites featuring such material.
The judge told the court that there were ‘very sad elements to this case’, including ‘enormous pain and suffering to those not involved’, including Allford’s wife and family.
He took into account Allford’s guilty plea and subsequent attempts to rehabilitate when sparing him jail.
He added that other than actively searching for these images there was no implication of sexual interest in them on Allford’s part.