July 2018

Redhill man found with almost 2,000 indecent images of children is spared jail

A Redhill man who was found with almost 2,000 indecent images of children has escaped a prison term.

Nick Peters, from Colman Way, went to Guildford Crown Court prepared to be sent straight to prison for his crimes.

The 43-year-old had admitted eight charges, including making 1,954 indecent images of children, 188 of which were the most serious category A. He also admitted distributing 51 indecent images of children, and of possessing nine “extreme” pornographic images of animals.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday, prosecutor Piers Reed told the court: “It is pretty extreme stuff, and it is very young, very young girls. One is two to three, some are eight to ten.

“I haven’t got a description of the farmyard stuff but it is pretty extreme stuff that probably doesn’t need any comment from me.”

Peters, who is married with no children, was arrested in September last year after the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (CEOP) identified file-sharing between a number of IP addresses, one of which was traced to his home.

In his initial interview he claimed he hadn’t deliberately viewed the images, but he changed his tune after police analysed his computer.

“In a nutshell, he said that what he had been viewing had appeared on his computer by accident and that he had been trying to download black and white films and pornography just appeared,” said Mr Reed.

“In the meantime of course, his computer equipment was sent away for analysis and he returned voluntarily for a second interview on April 17 this year and perhaps it is sufficient for me to say that as a result of a form of depression he had taken to viewing extreme and prohibited images. He agreed with the various descriptions put to him.”

He added: “In a nutshell he said he was addicted to pornography, starting with less serious stuff he progressed to effectively downloading, viewing.”

Peters said he had thought he was just downloading the indecent images from a server and had not realised he was file-sharing, and therefore distributing the images, the prosecutor said.

He had a well-paid job managing a team selling dental equipment, Mr Brown said. Peters also has no previous convictions.

Despite telling him the sentencing starting point for the more serious offences of distributing images was three years in prison, Judge Moss opted not to send him to custody, or make him do any community work.

He told him: “This is plainly a serious matter and I note that you have come prepared for an immediate custodial sentence which is only right and proper.

“I have read some references in relation to you. You are, apart from this, a hard-working man who has a job and has been married for 11 years without children.

Peters was sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for two years, made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and must complete a sex offenders’ treatment programme.

Judge Moss told him: “Given where you are in your life I do not propose to add unpaid work.

“I do not think it is necessary but if you do not comply with the terms of the order you will be required to come back before this court and have that sentence activated or some other punishment.”