Sausage maker avoids jail after he was caught with child abuse images
Businessman David Burton, 52, had told The Gazette: ‘I’m not a paedophile’
A businessman caught with child abuse images he had downloaded from the internet has avoided prison, but lost his sausage firm because of his offending.
Sausage maker David Burton, 52, insisted “I’m no paedophile” after he was caught with indecent images of children.
Disturbing pictures found at his home included images showing sexual activity with children aged one and 18 months.
Police found the eight pictures, some with explicit titles, on devices at his Brotton home on January 17.
Six of the images were videos, with one lasting 23 minutes and two in the most serious legal category.
Dave Burton (Photo: Evening Gazette)
Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said on Monday: “There was evidence of active searching for this type of material.”
Burton, of Jackson Street, Brotton, admitted two charges of making indecent images of children – his first conviction.
According to the judge who sentenced him, Burton said he “became fascinated” with a woman’s fantasies while in a “counselling-type role”.
When approached by The Gazette last month, the ‘Burton Bangers’ owner said he was surprised to find himself in court.
He said: “It has come across far worse than it actually is.”
He claimed he never searched for the images but accidentally downloaded them through a peer-to-peer file-sharing website while searching for music videos.
He said he downloaded unnamed files and instantly deleted them when he opened them and realised what they were.
He added: “I stupidly downloaded it, saw it wasn’t something I wanted and I got rid of it.
“But that doesn’t make me a paedophile.
“I’ve honestly never watched these videos.
“In some respects, nothing but good has come out of this as I will never ever use any sort of file sharing system.”
Andrew Teate, defending, said Burton had lost his good character after making full admissions.
He said the hard-working dad’s business, which he ran with his wife, lost all trade and they had moved out of the area “as a result of press attention”.
He said the police had unearthed eight images – compared to tens or hundreds of thousands in other cases – which had been deleted and were no longer accessible.
There was no evidence of distributing or sharing images.
Burton suffered depression and alcohol difficulties, and wrote to the Cleveland Police thanking them for their “intervention” in his life.
“The defendant’s never had any direct involvement with any children,” added Mr Teate.
Now Burton had stopped drinking and was assessed as a low risk of re-offending.
Judge Howard Crowson told Burton: “I’m not going to send you immediately to prison.
“The reality is there were eight images. The images are of different victims and some of them are extremely young.”
Burton was given an eight-month jail term suspended for 18 months with supervision and a £340 costs order.
He was given a sexual harm prevention order governing his use of the internet, computers and storage devices, and will be on the sex offenders’ register, both for seven years.