July 2009

Child sexual abuse photos land father in jail

A father has been jailed for eight months for having nearly 11,000 indecent images of young children on his computer.

Simon Pavitt, 41, of Mersea Road, Colchester, admitted ten charges of making indecent photos of children and one of possessing them, between November 2005 and February 2008.

Of the 10,748 images, 200 were of the most serious kind, described by Judge David Turner as “a ghastly collection”.

Chelmsford Crown Court was told Pavitt was abused himself at the age of nine or ten. His lawyer, Steven Levy, said Pavitt had suffered flashbacks after his work took him near the place where he grew up.

He added: “He started to try and reconcile the abuse he had suffered, by trying to understand the motivation of people who abused others.

“As a result he started trawling the internet for information.”

As part of his search, Pavitt feigned interest in indecent images during online chats, Mr Levy said. It was this which brought him to attention of police.

Judge Turner said he had no choice but to impose a custodial sentence, He added: “It’s a chilling combination of material. How you could pretend to be simply looking as a way of understanding your own background entirely defeats me.”

Pavitt will serve half his sentence in prison and the rest in the community, on licence.

He has been placed on the sex offenders’ register for ten years, will be subject to a five-year sex offenders’ protection order and was banned from working with children or vulnerable young adults.