David Wiltcher, 78, who viewed 9k indecent images escapes jail

A pensioner who was found to have viewed more than 9,000 indecent images of children as young as babies after a tip-off from staff at Currys has avoided jail.

David Wiltcher, 78, was handed a 12 month jail term, suspended for 18 months, after admitting two counts of possessing indecent images of a child, three counts of making indecent photos of a child and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image.

When Wiltcher’s computer and hard drive were searched by police 9,405 images were found, including of children younger than one-years-old and 528 of the most extreme Category A images.

At Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday, Charlotte Davison, prosecuting, said: “Matters came to light in March 2017 when it appears the police were notified by Curry’s Electrical, or a sub department of the company, that one of the staff whilst assisting a customer online had come across indecent images.

“The staff member asked permission to have full access and came across more indecent images. Essex Police were notified and a warrant was executed.”

Wiltcher, who at the time of the police raid was living in East Street, Colchester, but has since moved to Cherry Street in Stratford upon Avon, claims he had taken to surfing the internet to distract him from his severe tinitus.

Steven Levy, mitigating, said this had started not long after his wife died of cancer.

He said: “He started to look on the internet and that developed to the extent whereby he would download some form of virus and then spend a lot of time trying to get his computer back to normal.

“This distracted him from the ringing in his ears.”

Mr Levy added: “His involvement in the images was not motivated by sexual interest.”

Sentencing him to 12 months, suspended for 18 months, Judge Christopher Morgan said: “It is not for me to determine whether you got sexual gratification, but you would have been well aware it was illegal and is also promoting the abuse of children.”

Wiltcher, who is a grandfather, will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention order for ten years, complete 80 hours of unpaid work, 30 days of rehabilitation and pay £520 in costs.