March 2008

Child porn dad is now “forlorn figure” court told

A HARD-WORKING family man caught with child pornography on his computer was spared jail after a judge heard he had already suffered greatly.

Since police raided Steven Moore’s home, his marriage has collapsed, he has lost his job, and can only see his youngest daughter on occasional supervised visits.

Teesside Crown Court was told today by Moore’s barrister that prison would be the final straw for the former hod carrier, and would leave him crushed.

Defence barrister Nigel Soppitt said Moore’s life has fallen apart since police raided the family home in Samuel Street, Stockton, on March 18 last year.

The 43-year-old father-of-two, who had never before been in trouble, now lives in a bedsit in nearby Norton and collects just £10 a week in benefits, the court heard.

He pleaded guilty to 16 charges of making indecent photographs of children between February 2006 and last March, as well as one count of possessing 81 indecent images.

“You have already paid a fairly substantial price for this madness on your part – family, job and home all seem to have gone.”

Judge Les Spittle

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, told the court the deleted “thumbnail” images were found when experts working for Cleveland Police checked Moore’s computer.

It was also discovered that Moore had searched websites for child porn, but he claimed he was simply curious and got no sexual gratification by looking at the pictures.

Moore was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with two years of probation service supervision and ordered to go on an internet sex offenders’ register.

Judge Les Spittle also ordered Moore to sign on the sex offenders’ register for seven years and banned him indefinitely from working with children.

The judge told him: “You have already paid a fairly substantial price for this madness on your part – family, job and home all seem to have gone.

“Now you are at risk of losing your liberty, but I also have to look at the public and the long-term benefit, and far more can be done for society’s benefit by not locking you up.”

Mr Soppitt earlier told the court: “Since his arrest, he has been punished on a daily basis and he now resides in bedsit land and cuts a lonely, forlorn figure.”