October 2018

Man viewed sick child abuse images after becoming ‘a compulsive user of the internet’

A father-of-two started viewing indecent images of children because he was “inquisitive and bored”, a court heard.

Police found images of pre-pubescent children being sexually abused when they seized Ian Pattison’s laptop last year.

The 58-year-old told officers he had looked at the sickening images but not stored them, saying: “If you really want something, you keep them.”

Newcastle Crown Court heard Pattison had become “introverted” and a “compulsive user of the internet” after a series of personal tragedies and problems.

Pattison, of Angerton Terrace, Cramlington, has now avoided a prison sentence after pleading guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children.

From searches on his computer police found he had viewed three category A pictures, which are the most serious kind and involve penetrative sexual activity, seven category B and 13 category C.

David Crook, prosecuting, said, the police attended his home in Northumberland last year and his computer was seized.

“He said to police that he had ‘looked but not kept’, and that he had been inquisitive and bored.

“It was clear from the system he had been looking for such images, various search terms had been used and various sites visited where it would have been quite clear from the names that they contained indecent images of children.”

The court heard the category A images showed attacks on prepubescent children aged around 10.

Recorder Euan Duff sentenced Pattison to a two-year community order, and told him he must attend a treatment programme for sex offenders.

He told the defendant: “It’s a very sad thing to see a man of your age and of previously good character appearing on charges of this nature.

“I’m sure you are thoroughly ashamed of your conduct.

“Any viewing of these images is serious – the more people view these images, the more real children somewhere in the world get abused. That’s the harm it does, as well as the potential for corruption leading on to other things.”

Pattison must also sign the sex offenders’ register for five years.