September 2018

University student caught with indecent images of children as young as five

A university student caught with indecent images of children as young as five was told viewing them is a “direct cause” of the abuse they suffered.

Dylan McKenzie was found to be in possession of the illegal pictures along with prohibited sexual cartoons depicting youngsters.

A court heard police found 298 pictures on an iPad and computer hard drive.

The 20-year-old said his viewing of legal pornography had “spiralled and become criminal” and had tried to stop what he was doing but kept returning to it.

Now McKenzie has been given a suspended prison sentence at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting possessing indecent images and prohibited images of children.

Judge Simon Batiste told him: “The children involved were extremely young, five to 11 years old.

“While you and other people may have thought this is a victimless crime, it’s not, because the abuse of children only takes place, in many cases, because there’s a market of people wanting to look at such images.

“So viewing these images is a direct cause of the abuse taking place.”

The court heard the images were found after police went to McKenzie’s home last October.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch told Newcastle Crown Court: “The age of those depicted appear to be between ages of five to 11.”

McKenzie, of Caer Urfa Close, South Shields, pleaded guilty to possessing prohibited images of children and three offences of making indecent images of children.

The court heard some of the images, which were all in still photograph form, were in the most serious categories of their type but most of them were of a lower level.

Judge Batiste sentenced McKenzie to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements.

McKenzie must sign the sex offenders register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for seven years.

The judge said McKenzie is of previous good character, has family support, is at university and has moved on from the problems he was having at the time of the illegal downloads.