October 2018

Paedophile avoids jail after making animated child abuse images on video game

A paedophile from Leeds has avoided jail after making animated child porn on a popular video game.

Spencer Garland made 2,178 images and 40 videos of ‘children’, the youngest of whom appeared to be aged around six.

The ‘isolated’ 46-year-old was subject to a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) for having child abuse images that involved real victims when he illegally modified characters on action role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Leeds Crown Court heard he removed the characters’ clothing and made them simulate sexual activity before taking screenshots and videos.

Jesscia Lister, prosecuting, said the images were discovered when Garland made an application to remove his SHPO and in October last year police went to his house to check his compliance, finding the images on a computer and a Samsung hard drive.

In 2011, he had been convicted of 20 offences of making indecent images and one offence of possessing indecent images and made subject of a SHPO.

Garland, of Cedar Road in Armley, pleaded guilty to possessing indecent photos of children and breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

Judge Christopher Batty added that Garland lost his job because of his previous convictions and has ‘not really tried’ to get another one.

Sentencing him to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, the judge said: “It may well be that you did not quite appreciate the significance of these images in that they are not like the type of indecent images you were convicted for in 2011. . .

“I have to make an allowance for you in this case because there has not been a child harmed in order to provide you with these images.

“It was entirely animated.”

He also ordered Garland to complete a 90-day programme designed to address his offending.