Man says he needed child-like sex doll for ease of hiding on cramped narrowboat
A man who imported a child-like sex doll from China says he did so because its smaller size made it easier to hide on a narrowboat.
Christopher Warner denied he was a paedophile, but police later found more than a thousand indecent child images on his computer.
Stansted Airport staff working for the government’s Border Force inspected the package being imported by the 54-year-old in September last year.
They passed the package on to Leicestershire Police and officers arrested Warner at his place of work.
He explained to detectives that buying a smaller doll was cheaper and that it would be easier to hide from his wife on their cramped narrowboat.
When the detectives obtained a warrant to search the canal boat they found onboard Warner’s laptop and a USB drive.
They contained 32 illegal photographs of girls as young as eight and a further 925 cartoon images of children engaged in sexual activity.
There were also 249 illegal photographs of people having sex with animals.
Warner, of Debdale Wharf Marina in Smeeton Westerby, near Kibworth, later pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing illegal images and one count of importing a prohibited item.
He appeared at Leicester Crown Court, where he was given a suspended prison sentence for the offences.
Prosecutor Abigail Joyce, who described the doll as “child-like”, told the court: “The defendant said he had bought the doll after his sex life with his wife had dried up, to use his words.
“He said he didn’t have a sexual interest in children and a small doll was easier to hide on his canal boat.”
Helen Johnson, representing Warner, said: “Mr Warner is adamant he wasn’t seeking a child doll.
“The doll is an odd-looking item that looks neither like a child, or an adult, or a human being.”
She said Warner had pleaded guilty to the charge of importing an illegal item because numerous Court of Appeal cases had concluded that such products were illegal.
She added that Warner’s arrest had led to him quitting his job but that his wife, who was in court, was supporting him.
Judge Nicholas Dean told Warner: “I’ve read a really rather moving reference from your wife. It’s clear this side of your personality was not known to her.
“It’s clear it’s been very difficult for her. You’re immensely fortunate in having someone prepared to stand by you.”
The judge said he felt it would be wrong to jail Warner because he was trying to address his problem.
Instead, he gave him a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, ordered him to take part in 20 days of rehabilitation activities and do 100 hours of unpaid work.
Warner was also made subject to a seven-year sexual harm prevention order.
The judge ruled that the sex doll should be destroyed.