April 2012

Higham on the Hill pensioner who admitted downloading indecent images avoids prison

A PERVERT pensioner who admitted downloading extreme pornography and indecent images of children has been told that sending him to prison will not help him overcome his problems.

Peter Arthur Waterton, of Main Street, Higham on the Hill, was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to having 10 indecent photos on his computer, two of which were deemed to be extreme, and was given a three-year community order.

The 75-year-old, who was convicted of grooming a 12-year-old girl for sex in 2005 and spent 15 months in prison, admitted the charges and even went to the police himself to say he had downloaded the images.

A total of 343 extreme images were found on his computer, including one of the most serious level five category and some of bestiality.

As well as being under supervision for 36 months, the judge Recorder Nigel Daly ordered that Waterton take part in a community sex offenders’ program and be prevented from keeping any form of device that can hold digital images – “even ones that haven’t been invented yet” – unless he is willing to give it to police for inspection for the next 10 years.

In mitigation, Justine Robinson said: “[Waterton] reported to the police that he had committed these offences. He needs to continue to take part in the program to strengthen his resolve as there are emotional triggers to when this happens.

“The risk to the public remains but a reduction to that risk can be achieved with this course. He says he has no desire to access these photos again.”

Upon sentencing, Mr Daly, who also ordered that the images and computer be destroyed, said: “I am concerned about the images of children being there again. At some point a child has suffered for this abuse to be depicted.

“You have been convicted and had treatment in the past but are still doing this. You had 15 months last time but that didn’t do much good, so I could easily send you to prison again but I don’t see where that is getting us. What I’m concerned about is stopping you doing this.

“You’ve been subject to various forms of supervision yet come in front of me for five counts of making indecent images and two counts of having extreme pornography.

“You are 75 and are not a well man, but that didn’t stop you from offending in this way.

“You have been part of the market for these photos and we have to consider how to prevent you from being part of that market and also to deter others from behaving that way.

“I had in my mind to give you an immediate prison sentence, but probation believe you would be better treated by the sexual offenders’ group program.

“So you will do it and do it properly or you will almost definitely go to prison again.”

September 2005

Curate reports husband’s grooming

A curate took her husband to a police station after he was found sexually grooming a 12-year-old girl over the internet, Leicester Crown Court heard.

Peter Waterton, 69, of Higham on the Hill, Leics, admitted four counts of possessing indecent images and one count of sexually grooming a child.

He was arrested after his wife Dawn, a Church of England minister in Nuneaton, was confronted by the child’s father.

He was jailed for 15 months, but his wife said she would stand by him.

The victim’s parent found a number of texts from the defendant on her mobile phone and e-mails on her computer.

Waterton had told the girl in messages of a “tingly, buzzy feeling” when he saw her pose like a cat-walk model.

He told the Warwickshire girl he wanted to take photographs of her.

‘Wholly disgusting’

During the police investigation, more than 50 images of child pornography were found on the defendant’s computer.

Sentencing Waterton, Judge Michael Stokes QC said the indecent photographs, some of which showed very young children in sexual poses with adult males, were “wholly disgusting”.

He said: “It’s quite clear to me on the evidence that your virtual addiction to this sort of material had influenced your potential relationship with (the girl) and I cannot reach any other conclusion that had it not been spotted, something quite appalling might have happened between you and (the girl).”

The court heard that Waterton, who has grown-up children from a previous relationship, had turned to the internet for gratification because of age-related problems in his sex life.

Malicious phone calls

In mitigation, Simon Davis said Waterton was ashamed.

“His words today were, ‘Thank goodness I have been caught out’.

“Mrs Waterton, in her position, acted extremely responsibly in going to the police and reporting what she had been told. She had no idea that there was more on that computer.”

The couple have been targeted by malicious phone calls since the offences came to light, the lawyer said.

The judge imposed an extended licence period of two years and ordered Waterton to be placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.