September 2011

Sunderland man jailed after vile child porn was found on his computer

A MAN who downloaded sick images of child abuse has been put behind bars.

Stephen Hedley had 29 of the vile film clips on his laptop, which was recovered by police after they raided his home in Sunderland.

Now a judge has handed the 40-year-old a 28-month prison sentence.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how one of images was of the most serious kind and 20 of the next level down.

Police raided Hedley’s in Kismet Street, Southwick and seized a laptop containing the images in August last year, which had been downloaded that month.

The ages of the children featured in the pornography ranged from nine to 15 years old.

Hedley pleaded guilty to seven charges of making or possessing indecent images of children at an earlier hearing.

The court heard he had two 18-year-old convictions for indecent assault and had served two years in prison for reckless arson.

Defence solicitor Glen Gatland said Hedley had not shared the images or tried to contact any children through the internet.

He said: “From speaking to him, it is clear he is a man who has withdrawn from society and does suffer from symptoms of that withdrawal.

“When he was accused some time ago in relation to another incident which did not result in any charges, it seems that on a computer he had there were some images and that he was blamed about those images.

“He could demonstrate he was in fact at work when those images were downloaded by another person.

“It was that that caused the breakdown of his relationship in his family life, which resulted in arson, when his wife of 15 years had someone in the house.

“It seems to be the catalyst which brought his whole life crashing down.

“Since he was released after the arson, he has withdrawn from society.”

Mr Gatland added: “He thought he could look at those (images) and think ‘these are the sort of stuff I have been blamed for’; to put it in his own words, to push himself over the edge.”

Judge Paul Sloane ordered Hedley served four months in prison for each offence and sign the Sex Offenders Register for seven years.