March 2012

Child-porn man will have treatment for his deviancy

A man who downloaded indecent images of children on the internet will have treatment to address his problem instead of going to prison.

Steven Croucher was arrested after police seized his two computers in Maple Road South, Loughborough.

The 56-year-old admitted eight counts of making indecent images, by accessing them from websites, between September 2007 and June 2010.

They relate to 148 images and six films at level one, 12 images and 10 movie clips at level two, three images and 41 films at level four as well as one image and two movie clips in the most serious category, level five.

Croucher also admitted possessing 12 clips of extreme pornography, involving bestiality.

Alan Murphy, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court that, in interview, Croucher could not explain why he looked at the images.

He denied being a paedophile, but admitted the images depicted boys aged between 10 and 17 being abused.

Mr Murphy said: “Images were stored in files, such as one named School and another Private.”

David Watts, mitigating, said: the defendant’s partner suffered from ill-health and relied upon him for assistance.

Croucher received an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for two years with supervision, and a requirement to attend a sex offender group work programme.

He was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, to ensure his future computer use will be monitored by the authorities.

Judge Robert Brown said: “You clearly need treatment for your sexual deviancy.

“The treatment programme can only be given to you within a two-year supervision order, without a sentence of imprisonment.

“You’re of previous good character and have accepted responsibility.

“The probation service can positively address your problem.”

The judge said a short custodial sentence “wouldn’t give him the chance to have the treatment he needs”.

“The treatment he needs, he cannot have unless the jail sentence is longer than the sentencing guidelines allow me to pass,” he said.