March 2004

Man spared jail for having pornographic clips of child

A MAN who advertised the services of prostitutes on the Internet has been given a suspended jail sentence after he admitted possessing child pornography.

Brian Sullivan, 58, who pleaded guilty to making indecent photos of children, was found by police to have ten movie clips of a girl aged under 16 on his computer.

He was given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, by Judge Tony Briggs, who said the clips, showing a girl engaged in sexual activity with an adult and also naked in a shower, were distressing and disgusting.

Teesside Crown Court heard that two computers were seized by police from a property in Norton, Stockton, in July 2002, where Sullivan had lived for a time.

They were seized and examined after an investigation into the Boro Working Girls website, which listed Teesside vice girls’ telephone numbers, sex services and charges.

Sullivan, 58, of Thorndale Road, Sunderland, was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence in October last year after he jointly admitted living off the earnings of prostitution with co-defendant Colin Dale, 51, of Southfield Crescent, Norton.

Martina Connolly, prosecuting, said the movies had been downloaded from the Internet and put in a folder.

When police showed the clips to Sullivan, he said he could not recall if he had seen them before.

She said: “He admitted that on previous occasions he had looked at child porn on the Internet out of interest rather than because of any paedophile tendencies he may have.”

Katherine Dunn, in mitigation, said Sullivan had an avid interest in pornography and had about 19,000 pornographic images.

She said that apart from the ten clips in question, none related to children.

She said Sullivan had tried to commit suicide twice in the past two years.

He also suffered from depression and regularly saw a doctor and counsellor.

Judge Briggs said he had taken into account Sullivan’s health in handing down a fresh suspended sentence, to run consecutively, but said: “These are very serious matters and should you err in any way, you will definitely go to prison for a significant period.”

He would also have to report his whereabouts to police for the next ten years, he said