COURT: Southend man tells Essex Police his collection of child sex abuse images, including ‘young babies’, is his ‘dirty secret’ – but is SPARED prison
A SOUTHEND man told police his collection of 70,000 child sex images was his ’dirty secret’.
Barry Jones, 47, of Barnaby Road, said in police interviews that he had ’an addiction’ to still and moving indecent images of children.
A court heard he had collected a ’very extensive and broad range’ of images, ’from young babies right through to older children, in a variety of different poses, including penetrative and non-penetrative acts’.
He told the officers that he would masturbate while he viewed the images, often whilst ’off my face on drink and weed’.
He amassed the vast collection because he would grow ’bored’ of the images and go ’trying to find the next one’.
His comments were made public as he was sentenced this afternoon at Basildon Crown Court.
Jones downloaded so many images that police gave up categorising them after the first 20,000.
The court heard a magistrate granted police a warrant to search Jones’ home on December 20 last year, after his IP address – a unique series of numbers which can pinpoint an internet user’s location – was linked to the downloading of indecent images.
Police seized a number of devices – including laptops and hard drives – from which forensic digital experts retrieved 71,233 indecent images.
They included 1,958 still images and 279 films classed as ’Category A’ – the worst level of child abuse images, which ’involve penetrative sexual activity’ or ’involve sexual activity with an animal or sadism’.
He also had 3,024 images and 48 films classed as ’Category B’ and 13,275 images and 44 films classed as ’Category C’.
After examining those 18,628 files, Essex Police left the remaining 52,605 uncategorised.
A force spokesman said: “These were not graded as, due to the volume found, the above categorisation of a sample of the images found was sufficient to secure a prosecution.”
In mitigation, the court heard Jones ’felt isolated socially, from family and partnerships’ and had become ’reliant on alcohol and drugs’.
He was ’anxious’ and ’emotional’ and that his problems likely stemmed from issues during his childhood, which were not detailed in open court.
Judge John Lodge said Jones’ offending was aggravated by, “the number of images, the number of moving images and the fact that you were viewing this filth over a lengthy period of time.”
But he said that although Jones was eligible for a 12-month prison sentence, he would spare him a jail term so that he could be treated and monitored for an extended period of time.
He sentenced Jones to a 36-month community order, with a requirement that he complete the Internet Sex Offender Treatment Programme.
In addition, he was ordered to complete 50 hours of community service – plus another 50 for an unrelated charge of possessing two bullets without a licence – and to pay £500 court costs.
Jones was made the subject of a 15-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, allowing police to carry out spot checks at his home and search his computers. He must also sign the Sex Offenders Register for the duration of the order.