2017

Pervert caught with child sexual abuse images on his computer

A paedophile caught with child sexual abuse images on his computer told police he wasn’t disgusted with the material because “the children were clearly enjoying it”.

John Gilbert-Heighton, from Trethannas Gardens, Praze, appeared at Truro Crown Court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to four counts of possessing indecent images of children.

The court heard how artist Gilbert-Heighton, 80, had inappropriate images of children ranging from seven-years-old to 12.

He was found to possess more than 500 images and videos – some of which the category A, the most serious type.

When arrested Gilbert-Heighton, who has no previous convictions, denied having any sexual interest in children and said he was only interested in the images for the purposes of his artwork.

Further forensic examination revealed more images, that had previously been deleted, and internet searches for indecent images.

While being quizzed by police officers they asked him if he was disgusted, to which he replied “why would I be disgusted? The children were clearly enjoying it”.

Sentencing Gilbert-Heighton, Recorder Ignatius Hughes, QC, said: “The images involved children as young and seven and were perverted and filthy. Any notion that they weren’t is wrong-headed.

“The fright of potential consequences of the crimes both to yourself and your family would have been significant and the suspended sentence imposed will have two effects.

“You will receive individual sessions for men who do what you have done and the sentence will hang over your head so you know that if you do it again you’ll go straight to prison.”

Gilbert-Heighton was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, issued a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and told to attend a rehab activity requirement.