May 2018

Pervert caught with indecent pictures of children is freed by judges

A Middlesbrough man who was caught with a vile stash of 201 indecent images of children has been set free by top judges.

James Featonby, 46, of Colville Street , was jailed for eight months at Teesside Crown Court on April 6 .

He admitted three counts of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing a prohibited image of child.

Now appeal court judges have ruled the sentence was too tough after taking into account his guilty pleas and his “low risk” of reoffending.

The Criminal Appeal Court in London was told how police had raided Featonby’s home on August 21 last year.

He had told officers at the time: “I have downloaded stuff I shouldn’t have”.

Police found 201 indecent child photos and videos on his computer, including 32 in the very worst category.

They featured children aged seven to 12 and there was also one prohibited image involving a cartoon 10-year-old girl.

A probation officer’s report said that Featonby had ‘lived an isolated existence for many years’ and ‘sexual gratification was his motivation’.

There was a ‘low risk of reoffending’ and a ‘realistic prospect of rehabilitation’, he added.

Sarah Lish, for Featonby, argued that his jail term should have been suspended.

She pointed to his prompt guilty pleas and full admissions to police when interviewed as well as the probation officer’s report.

He had demonstrated ‘clear remorse from the outset’ and was of previous good character, added the barrister.

“We have reflected carefully on this case and, in our judgement, Ms Lish is right that the factors militating in favour of suspending the sentence in this case outweigh those against,” said Mr Justice Haddon-Cave.

“We uphold the sentence of eight months imprisonment, but allow the appeal so that it is suspended for 18 months.”

The suspended jail term will include a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement, added the judge, who was sitting with Judge Clement Goldstone QC.

April 2018

Man jailed after he was caught with 201 images of child abuse

A pervert who downloaded images of children as young as seven being abused has ended up in jail.

James Featonby, 46, had his computer tower seized when police searched his home on Colville Street, Gresham, Middlesbrough on August 21 last year.

He said nothing on his arrest until he reached the police station and said: “I’ve downloaded stuff I shouldn’t have.”

He accepted he had sole use of the computer, on which 201 indecent images of children were found including 32 at the most serious level, Teesside Crown Court heard.

He confessed he downloaded the pictures, showing children aged seven to 12 and including videos as long as 28 minutes, from the internet, said prosecutor David Crook.

There were a large number of victims depicted in the images, Mr Crook told the court.

Featonby admitted three charges of making indecent photographs of children 

Judge Sean Morris told Featonby: “It would appear that you deliberately sought out images of very, very young children being abused.

“You sought these out. That was your preference, and it has consequences.”

Passing a prison sentence, he said: “The only issue is, can it be suspended? I’m of the view that it cannot and therefore the sentence is eight months on all counts.”

As well as the eight-month prison sentence, Featonby was given a five-year sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

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