April 2007

‘Sad and lonely’ child porn pervert is spared prison

A FORMER court official found with a sickening collection of child pornography has walked free.

David Alcock was spared prison after a judge heard he amassed 60,000-plus images following the death of his mother.

The bachelor was given a suspended jail sentence and ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.

Judge Tony Briggs also ordered that Alcock should be banned from working with children and from taking or making photographs for life.

Alcock, a senior court clerk until ten years ago, was yesterday described by his barrister as “a sad and lonely individual with an unhealthy hobby”.

Paul Cleasby, mitigating, said neighbours had hounded out Alcock after learning of the haul of photographs and sex dolls in his Hartlepool home.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 52-year-old had lived in bed and breakfast accommodation since the discovery of his sordid secrets.

Alcock has been left with a £10,000 repair bill for his home in Middleton Road after a series of vandal attacks and he is unable to return to it.

“This is a man whose reputation is entirely ruined, who has fallen from a lofty position and who is deeply embarrassed,” said Mr Cleasby.

“He has suffered financially as a result of his offending and the consequent bad publicity.

“He is a man who left school with qualifications, worked in respectable employment for in excess of 20 years, set up his own business for ten years and everything appeared to be perfectly straightforward with his life.

“He can now recognise that following the death of his mother, with whom he lived all his life, he believes he suffered a period of depression and feels if he had sought help for that at the time he would not find himself in the trouble he does.”

Alcock, a senior clerk at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court before he resigned ten years ago, pleaded guilty to 21 charges – 19 of making indecent images of children and two of possessing child pornography.

He admitted possessing a total of 60,939 images on June 17, last year, when police raided his home following a phone call from a concerned neighbour.

Gillian Milton, prosecuting, said officers found four computers, DVDs and discs containing the indecent images as well as two sex dolls, women’s and children’s clothes and cut-out faces.

Some of the obscene images – of pornographic models – had faces of people whose picture Alcock had taken superimposed on them.

Judge Tony Briggs told the bachelor he could spare him jail because of his guilty pleas, his frankness with police and his unblemished background.

He said the pictures Alcock had taken were “a grotesque invasion of privacy” but accepted they had not been distributed.

“You can bear in mind, when you leave the court, that you have had a very close escape from actual custody and that your activities have caused a good deal of distress to others.”

Alcock, whose nine-month prison sentence was suspended for two years, was also ordered to undergo two years of supervision and attend a sex offenders’ course.