March 2019

Paedophile uses hospital patient’s laptop to search for ‘cartoons’ of child abuse

A convicted paedophile in hospital for an operation used another patient’s laptop to download images of child abuse.

David Driver, 47, befriended the 80-year-old man at Castle Hill Hospital and asked to borrow his laptop.

But when it was returned, a nurse who knew of Driver’s status as a sex offender asked to see its search history, and saw what he had been up to.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting in Hull Crown Court, said Driver had twice accessed the internet, at 1.10am and 1.20am on August 1 last year, using paedophile search terms.

These included “incest videos”, “forbidden” sex, and others making reference to “Lolita”.

In total, he was caught with six computer-generated prohibited images, most of which would have been in category B if they were photographs, and also category A – the most extreme or serious.

“Most related to child sexual activity, and in particular, incest,” Mr Coxon said. One was supposedly of a child aged five. The images were accompanied by speech bubbles, which “gave a graphic description of what was happening in the images”.

Driver, of Great Thornton Street, west Hull, was arrested on September 5 and in police interview “accepted that he had used such search terms,” Mr Coxon said.

He accepted he’d seen images of females and thought they were under 18 in states of undress. He said he hadn’t downloaded anything, and therefore, in his terms, he hadn’t made the images”.

Driver admitted possessing prohibited images, which has a maximum sentence of three years in jail.

He was sentenced to a “significant” prison sentence for sexual contact offences committed in his late 20s and early 30s, and also had convictions for drugs and shop theft.

Driver had previously been sent on sex offender treatment programmes, which “appear to have worn off”, Judge David Tremberg said.

Sentencing Driver, Judge Tremberg said he would deserve “every day” of the relatively short prison sentence he faced, but he would come out an “unreconstructed sex offender”, and society would be better protected if he were to have more treatment.

Driver was sentenced to a two-year community order, which includes 29 group sessions on the Horizon sex offender programme, and up to 15 days rehabilitation.

He must register as a sex offender for five years, and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely.