October 2018

Portsmouth man found with child abuse pictures on his computer after police raid 

A Portsmouth man caught with more than 150 child abuse images on his computer claimed he had been ‘hacked’.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard police raided Daniel Johnson’s family home in North End Grove in the city.

Computer analysis found he had been messaging on Skype with a man he met in a chat room – with each urging the other to send abuse images.

When neither man sent images, 26-year-old Johnson started searching online for abuse images. ‘The analysis showed that on the particular day in question the defendant had been using search terms specifically searching for images of child abuse,’ prosecutor Matthew Lawson said.

He added: ‘The ages [of children in the images] range between six and 12 and include the oral rape of children between eight and 12. Mr Lawson revealed there were 51 images at category A – the worst rating given by police.

There were 38 category B and 73 at C. Johnson denied the charges in court but later pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images, and in his reasons for admitting the charges said: ‘I looked at them online, I did not save or download them.’ 

But when he arrived for sentencing on Friday it emerged days after the plea he denied everything to a probation officer.

In court Johnson’s lawyer claimed he was ‘out of sorts’ and ‘very confused’ after being caught out searching and viewing the images in a single day on September 23, 2016.

The court heard Johnson had returned from Australia in July 2015 after breaking his arm and had become socially isolated. Not all of the images were immediately accessible, the court heard. 

Family members – who were present in court and shook Johnson’s hand after he was handed a suspended sentence – penned character references supporting him.

Sentencing, judge Timothy Mousley QC imposed a 46-week prison term suspended for 18 months.

Johnson must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, 35 rehabilitation days and sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years. An order restricts his internet use for 10 years.