September 2009

Ashington man prosecuted over indecent images

A Northumberland man who had indecent images of girls under 16 on his computer has been put on the sex offenders’ register for five years

Gordon Barrass, 51, of Bolsover Street, Ashington, was sentenced by magistrates at South East Northumberland law courts yesterday having previously been found guilty of a charge of making indecent photographs of a child.

Prosecutor Bridgeen McKeague told the court that on May 17, 2008, Barrass, of Bolsover Street, took his computer to Computer Services on Station Road, Ashington for repairs.

The store’s manager began work on the computer, became aware of possible indecent images of children and called police. Police searched Mr Barrass’ house and found a printed indecent image of a child in his bedroom.

The computer was sent off for forensic analysis, which found that three images on the hard drive were of girls under 16. Barrass told officers he downloaded the images from websites while drinking.

Barrass, who had pleaded not guilty to the charge and been through a trial, said the images were from an American site with a disclaimer stating that all the models are over 18 – as required by that country’s law.

Magistrates gave the defendant a six-month community supervision order. They ordered the destruction of the images and told Barrass to pay £50 costs.