March 2018

Hermit had ‘stomach-churning’ indecent pictures of baby and children

A sex offender was caught with “stomach-churning” images of child abuse at two Teesside addresses.

Darren Payne, 36, was arrested after police found 663 indecent pictures and videos of children on two laptops and a phone, seized from a Thornaby address.

The 143 most serious images downloaded from the internet included abuse of an 18-month-old baby, Teesside Crown Court heard on Monday.

Payne was arrested after the raid on March 30 last year.

Then officers went to two other addresses in Stockton and Thornaby, which were linked to Payne, on November 30.

At one of the addresses they discovered hardware containing another 10 indecent stills of children as young as four.

When questioned, Payne said he had spoken to people with a sexual interest in children in a chat forum.

He went on to admit he had images sent to him, which he deleted, then confessed he was sexually interested in children, particularly five to 11-year-olds.

Payne was given a one-year prison sentence suspended for 18 months with a sex offender treatment programme and 35 days’ rehabilitation activity.

He was given a sexual harm prevention order governing his internet and devices use, and will be on the sex offenders’ register, both for 10 years.