April 2008

Court told of pervert’s fantasy world

POLICE swooped on the North-East home of an “obsessed” child porn pervert after he sent a disturbing picture and emails to a woman in South America.

Steven Gunn falsely claimed to his internet penpal that he wasdivorced, his wife had moved home to Spain and he was having sex with their daughter.

The Brazilian recipient of his message and photograph alerted authorities and Cleveland Police raided Gunn’s home, in Clyde Grove, Stockton, in May last year.

During a search of Gunn’s computer, police found he had thousands of indecent images of children and had trawled a number of pornographic websites.

Police also found he had created a number of aliases when searching for pictures and when communicating with people on the internet.

Teesside Crown Court was told yesterday that Gunn, 54, and married, was living his fantasies through role-play in the emails he sent.

Gunn, bespectacled and balding, told police after his arrest that he got sexual gratification from using made-up names and sharing stories.

His barrister, Stephen Constantine, said he was “full of remorse and contrition” and showed it by co-operating with police.

Mr Constantine said unlike many sex offenders, Gunn did not try to shift the blame for his wrong-doing and would benefit from help.

Judge Brian Forster, QC, imposed a four-month prison sentence, suspended it for two years with supervision, and ordered him to pay £350 costs.

Gunn’s name was placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years and he was ordered to attend an internet sex offender treatment programme.

He admitted 16 specimen charges of making indecent photographs of children and one of possessing 581 images between December 2006 and May last year.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, said 5,257 photographs were found on the computer during the search, as well as nearly 100 explicit movies involving children.

Police found that Gunn had visited child porn sites eight times in the three weeks before he was caught, and there were three pictures of him with a girl. Gunn had sent them to a correspondent and claimed the child was his daughter and he was planning to make a film with her.

Judge Forster told him: “Your behaviour went beyond what usually happens in this type of case, and you started almost to live out your fantasies by communicating with other people on the internet.”