Labourer’s ‘dark web’ drugs shopping spree saw him download sick child images
A paedophile claimed he downloaded indecent images of children “accidentally” while looking on the dark web to buy drugs.
Tony Martin Douglas Croes was found with over 100 sick images on an electronic device despite trying to cover his tracks by installing app cleaning software.
The 26-year-old was put on the sex offenders’ register for five years after pleading guilty to making indecent photographs/pseudo-photographs of a child.
Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday that Croes, who works as a labourer, was found to have 104 category C images in his possession.
Rachael Dodsworth, prosecuting, said: “The defendant had indecent images of children, and on the device was installed an app cleaning software.”
The court heard that Croes had a criminal record but for nothing similar to the indecent images offence and had not been before a court since 2012.
Croes, who has “no stable address” but lives between Runswick Road, in Eston, and Ash Hill, Coulby Newham, was given an 18 month community order.
Sentencing him, District Judge Timothy Capstick, said: “If it was not for people like you, the industry couldn’t exist or strive in the way it does today, bringing misery to many children.”
He must also undertake a 25 day rehabilitation activity requirement.
An application to impose a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) on Croes was objected to by his defence.
He will return to the court on July 9 when a decision will be given.