October 2007

Pervert handed three-year community order but judge says it is not a soft option

A PAEDOPHILE who used a teenage girl’s computer to download images of girls under the age 10 has escaped a jail sentence.

Andrew Gibbons, aged 25, was ordered to serve a three-year community order in a sentence Judge Nicholas Woodward said was not a “soft option”.

Warrington Crown Court heard Gibbons, from Kinross Close, Fearnhead, had downloaded 17 of the most serious pictures featuring “very young girls” and had access to more than 30 pictures during a month-long period earlier this year.

He pleaded guilty to 15 charges of making indecent images and one charge of possession of indecent pictures.

The court heard Gibbons was caught in February after he used a cable from another home in the street, belonging to a girl who cannot be named, to access the pictures.

When she called police, Gibbons was arrested and, after first denying they were his, later admitted the offences.

Michael Davies, defending, said Gibbons should be spared jail because he posed only a low risk of carrying out sexual abuse.

He added: “This was not an established pattern of behaviour. Having had the plight of the victims explained, he began to show an understanding for them.”

Judge Woodward, who viewed the pictures in chambers because they were so distressing, said the low age of the girls pictured was a “great concern”.

He added: “These were completely repugnant pictures.

“You were living a rather sad and pathetic life. This is not a soft option. If I were to send you to prison it could only be a short sentence and you would be out within a matter of weeks.

“It is more desirable that you are compelled to work in a treatment programme.”

Gibbons was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register and banned from working with children.