A man who tried to import a child sex doll into the UK through Stansted Airport and was then found to have more than 35,000 indecent images of children has been spared prison.
At his Ipswich Crown Court sentencing, Dean Hall, of Lake Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, was given a 12-month prison term, suspended for two years.
He was also made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the same period.
In addition, the 42-year-old was ordered to undertake 180 hours of unpaid work in the community and a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Hall’s case is believed to be among the first wave of such offences going through courts in England and Wales involving the ordering of child-like dolls from abroad.
He pleaded guilty at an earlier a plea and trial preparation hearing to illegally importing a child sex toy in November last year.
Hall had ordered the doll over the internet and it had been shipped to the UK from Shanghai.
The doll was intercepted at Stansted by Border Agency officials.
The packaging had an address on it belonging to Hall.
The doll was said to be female.
A search warrant was sought and the Border Agency mounted a raid on Hall’s home.
Computer equipment was seized as part of the inquiry and Hall was arrested.
Indecent images of children were found on three pieces of equipment.
These included 699 still and moving images at Level A – the most serious grading for such images of children.
There were also 1,241 images at Level B and a further 33,592 at Level C – the least serious grading.
They were discovered after officers found them on a laptop, a tower unit and a UCB stick.
In June, in what was believed to be the first sentencing of its kind in the country, Andrew Dobson, 49, was jailed for two years and eight months by Chester Crown Court for attempting to import a child sex doll and possessing child pornography.
Dobson, of Wistaston, near Crewe, bought the mannequin from Hong Kong.
The doll was intercepted at East Midlands Airport by the Border Agency.