June 2008

Pervert who downloaded child porn spared jail

A WINSFORD man who downloaded 96 indecent images of children has not been sent to prison.

Michael Whitwood, 27, of Wharton Hall in Wharton Road was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years despite pleading guilty to 16 charges of downloading indecent images when he appeared at Vale Royal Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The sexually explicit images included one of a girl aged five to eight-years-old with a man, while in another an 11-year-old boy was shown with a woman.

Another depicts young children in lewd behaviour with each other.

Lauren Costello, prosecuting, said: “Whitwood had two desktop computers seized and he pretended to be a 16-year-old girl because he thought that people would be more willing to speak to him and he received a number of indecent images.

“File sharing images were also found and he used the address mickeywhitwood@hotmail.com’ to encourage sexual chat.

“Whitwood has admitted to having a sexual interest in children.”

Defence solicitor for Whitwood, Stephen Rodgers, said: “This is an extremely serious case and I would suspect that Whitwood has always known that he would be charged with these offences and these events have been hanging over him like the sword of Damocles.


“This is clearly a very serious matter and he fully accepts responsibility for his actions but he needs supervision.”

Instead of serving time behind bars, Whitwood was handed a 24-month supervision order, had his computer confiscated, must attend the sexual offences prevention programme and sign the sexual offenders’ register for 10 years.

He was also ordered to pay £90 court costs.