October 2018

Pervert handed a suspended sentence at Reading Crown Court

A teacher was spared prison after hoarding child porn for a second time – because government cuts meant he was not given vital rehabilitation after his first offence.

Nicholas Gold, of Juniper, Bracknell, was handed a suspended sentence after noting that cuts in the Probation Service meant he was not given proper counselling after his previous conviction in 2011.

“I bear in mind your previous record – but I also bear in mind you did not get an opportunity to work on a course to deal with any underlying problems.” said Judge Ian Grainger as he sentenced the 59-year-old.

Earlier the court had heard how Gold’s life fell apart after child porn was found on his laptop a second time, with 43 indecent images of children on the device,

Defence barrister Kellie Enever described how her client lost his job teaching children at a school and his marriage broke up in the wake of his original offences in 2011.

The court heard how the first conviction left him isolated and lonely but this was a portrayal Gold himself rejected.

Outlining the case, Daniel Setter, prosecuting, said that the teacher was not at home when police carried out a raid after letting themselves in with a spare key on October 31 2017.

He described how officers had received intelligence from the Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) that Gold might be in possession of similar child porn materials for a second time. He had accumulated the earlier images on his laptop computer between 2005 and 2009.

After the search and seizure of items in the property in 2017, officers also found a laptop with 43 indecent photographs of children – this time over a period from 2009 to 2016.

Detectives could only access 21 of these images after Gold forgot the password to the files, saying he had not used the laptop for two years.

However officers recovered records of Skype conversations between Gold and an unknown user, during which he received images of children, Mr Setter revealed.

Judge Grainger, sitting at Reading Crown Court, also heard that Gold boasted to the anonymous Skype user that he liked to share materials on the notorious alternative media platform ChatStep.

In mitigation, Ms Enever argued that Gold volunteered to attend police interviews and had admitted his guilt at the earliest opportunity.

She also explained how he rejected the perception of him as a “lonely and isolated” man, and enjoyed good friendships with a close circle of friends.

“He still sees his ex-partner, looks after his parents and sees his brother – he wants to stress he is not an isolated or lonely man sat at his PC on a daily basis.” Ms Enever told the court.

Following his conviction, he had remained in close contact with his brother and spent a great deal of time caring for his elderly parents.

The court heard that after losing his job teaching children, he began teaching English to adults online and sometimes in person.

However it was not regular or well paid employment, the court heard and Gold was living on benefits at his home.

Ms Enever also explained how he had been regularly seeing a psychotherapist in an attempt to tackle his issues with child pornography.

The court heard of a statement from his doctor which deemed him as at “low-risk” of re-offending – but he had been deprived of vital rehabilitation as a result of funding cuts..

“He was caught up in a system when funding was cut to probation services and he was not able to benefit from any offender programmes – this was due to funding cuts,” said Ms Enever.

Gold had been sentenced in 2011 to 20 weeks in prison, for one count of distributing and three counts of making indecent images of children from 2005 to 2009. His sentence was suspended for 18 months on June 10 2011.

Sentencing him again, seven years later, Judge Grainger said: “The pre-sentence report refers to your remorse and the impact on your life of your other convictions.

“You lost your marriage but you look after your parents and have a circle of friends. You lost your teaching job as a result of your conviction – but with the help of your monitoring officers, you teach adults online.

“Your psychotherapist says you do not pose a risk to children – that is also the view of your probation officer.

“I suspect you have more of a problem than you are prepared to accept to yourself and others. I bear in mind your previous record – but I bear in mind you did not get an opportunity to work on a course to deal with any underlying problems.” he added.

Gold was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment for two counts of making an indecent photo of a child during the period March 27 2009 to December 27 2016. The sentence was suspended for two years on condition that he completes an accredited rehabilitation programme, such as Horizon.

He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Judge Grainger added: “”If you abide by those terms then all will be well – if you breach them you will be brought back to court and the sentenced I imposed will be activated.”