November 2010

No jail for grandad who downloaded indecent images of children

A perverted pensioner who downloaded over 1,000 indecent images of children during a “traumatic” period of his life has been spared jail.

John Thomas Hodgson, 51, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of making indecent photographs of children between March 2001 and December 2009.

Officers raided Hodgson’s family home on Downfield Way, New Marske on December 2 last year, Teesside Crown Court was told yesterday.

An analysis of Hodgson’s hard drive found 1,117 indecent images of children – 1,072 in the least serious category and none at the worst level, prosecutor Jo Kidd said.

Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Peter Fox QC, said: “You pleaded guilty to a number of offences of making indecent photographs of children. You did that over a period of years.

“But having regard to your personal circumstances which I judge are important in this case, I judge that you would not have done that sort of thing but for the factors set out in the probation officer’s report.

“And so there’ll be no prison sentence in this case, not even a suspended one.

“I take the view that this is out of character for you and you can learn a better way and put it behind you.”

Hodgson, who had no previous convictions, was given a two-year community order with supervision and a programme requirement.

He will be on the sex offenders’ register for five years.