Febuary 2010

Paedophile, 21, spared jail term

A YOUNG paedophile caught with hundreds of images of child pornography has been asked by a judge how he would feel if his own children were photographed being abused.

Christopher McArthur, 21, had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing indecent images of children and three of making them, asking for seven similar offences to be taken into consideration.

Alistair Veheijen, prosecuting, said that on August 12, 2008, police raided McArthur’s home in Dairy Lane, Ivybridge, and seized a computer tower and a laptop.

They later proved to contain 170 indecent images of children at level one, 65 at level two, 23 at level three, including three movies, and 51, including four movies, at level four.

Level one is the least serious category and level five the most serious.

There were file references to ‘Lolita’, “Paedo’ and ‘Pre-teen’, and both computers were fitted with file-sharing software enabling McArthur to share images freely with other paedophiles.

Interviewed by police, McArthur accepted he had viewed the images at all four levels, adding that he had been “way too close” to another male, but developed an interest of his own.

Mr Verheijen said McArthur had no previous convictions but had been cautioned for aiding and abetting a breach of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order by facilitating contact between a man and a girl of 15.

Judge Francis Gilbert QC told McArthur that prison would normally be the punishment for these offences, but following recommendations from the Probation Service he was taking a different course.

He told him: “You had better keep out of trouble and not get involved with anything like this again. “These images involve cruelty and the sexual abuse of children.

“If you get married and have children one day, you would be pretty upset if anyone did the sort of things to them that you were looking at for your own sexual gratification.”

He sentenced McArthur to a three-year community order and ordered him to undergo the Sex Offenders Treatment Programme, which he said would help him.

He also imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register, both for five years.