January 2009

Man, 60, jailed for downloading 1,700 child porn images

A sixty-year-old man who downloaded more than 1,700 images of children has been sent to prison.

William Strong made contact with other Internet paedophiles through email and chatrooms, Durham Crown Court heard.

Durham Police were alerted to Strong’s activities when a man in another part of the country was arrested for similar offences, said Mark Giuliani, prosecuting.

Email addresses on that man’s computer were linked to email addresses on Strong’s computer.

When interviewed by police, Strong said he didn’t know why the pictures were on his computer.

He claimed he was not in the habit of downloading pictures because they could contain viruses.

Strong, of Greencroft, South Hetton, admitted 17 charges of possessing indecent photographs of children on February 8, last year.

The court heard there were about a dozen photographs at the more serious levels four, three and two. The rest were at the least serious level one.

Alex Burns, defending, said: “Many of these images were never opened and a lot were immediately deleted.

“This case has strained Mr Strong’s relationship with his girlfriend and he was unable to see his grandchildren over Christmas.

“He thinks he may have to move house after this sentence is passed.”

Judge Chris Prince jailed Strong for four months and told him: “You are clearly somebody who fantasises about sexual contact with children. The images you had are repugnant and the chat you engaged in was explicit.”

The judge made Strong the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which bans him for life from having any unsupervised contact with children, or entering any internet chatroom.

Strong must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.