July 2011

Ex-Navy sailor of 31 years avoids prison for child porn

A WHITLEIGH man who recently left the Royal Navy after 31 years collected hundreds of pornographic pictures of children, a court heard.

Christopher Bennett, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told Plymouth Crown Court that John Burroughs had admitted eight counts of making indecent pictures of children and two of possessing extreme adult pornography.

He said police raided Burroughs’ home around 8am on March 22 last year, seizing a computer tower, CDs and a laptop.

The laptop contained 28 individually-named folders, while the computer had one labelled ‘YG’ for Young Girls.

Altogether, Burroughs had 1,576 still pictures and one movie at level one, 52 stills and three movies at level two, 143 stills and one movie at level three, 196 stills and 17 movies at level four and seven stills and one movie at level five.

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

Burroughs also had two movie files of extreme adult pornography.

Burroughs told police both computers were his and he alone used the laptop.

He said innocent internet research gradually led to adult pornography, which caused marital difficulties.

He began receiving child pornography, saving it on CDs when the computer memory was full.

He then started to search for pictures of naked children, though he claimed he was not sexually interested in children and was motivated by curiosity.

Mr Bennett said Burroughs, 52, pleaded guilty at an early stage and had no previous convictions.

Ali Rafati, for Burroughs, said these were “vile offences” but that they did not involve physical contact with children.

“This is a 52 year-old man whose life as he knew it is over,” he said.

“He signed out of the Navy this month after 31 years; he is described as a hard worker, level-headed and a steady hand.

“He has been exposed to his family, friends and colleagues in the Royal Navy.”

Judge Paul Darlow said the children pictured ranged from the very young to those in their early teens.

He told Burroughs: “Anyone viewing these images and movies cannot help but notice the misery which attaches to these children, the corruption of these children and the theft of their childhood.

“This is all for the satisfaction of people who get sexual pleasure from looking at them.”

He sentenced Burroughs, of Lancaster Gardens, to eight months in jail suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision by the Probation Service.

He ordered him to attend an internet sex offender treatment programme, to remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register until further order and to be subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.