October 2018

Murton man’s ‘entrenched’ behaviour saw him amass three-year haul of indecent child images

A man who sought indecent online material featuring children for three years has escaped an immediate prison sentence, so he can receive help to overcome his predilection in the community.

But, David Alan Carr was warned any breach of the court order would land him back before the same judge, with a likely prison sentence.

Carr, 40, admitted downloading indecent images of children in all three categories of severity, plus possession of extreme pornographic images and prohibited child images, on the day of his scheduled trial at Durham Crown Court, in July.

Sentence was adjourned to allow for preparation of both probation and psychiatric reports on the defendant.

The sentencing hearing was told three computers and a mobile phone were seized when police visited Carr’s home, in Woods Terrace, Murton, in August 2016.

Andrew Finlay, prosecuting, said analysis revealed off offending material, sourced between 2013 and 2016, included 14 still and moving images in the most serious category, with more than eight hours footage, featuring children as young as four, in obvious distress.

There were also 1,587 prohibited images and 96 “extreme” pornographic images, featuring bestiality.

When interviewed, Carr accepted what was found would be, “down to him”, and claimed to have viewed all sorts of pornography, some which he believed may have featured children.

He conceded he “needed help” as he, “didn’t want to be that person again.”

Despite the admissions, he denied the charges at a plea hearing, claiming he was not the only person living at that address, as a lodger was living there at the time, implying he must have been the person using the computer.

But, following further examination of the internet history of the computers, Carr, duly changed his pleas and admitted the charges.

Tamara Pawson, mitigating, presented three character testimonials on Carr’s behalf and referred the judge to the report findings.

She told the court that he has a hitherto clean record.

Judge Jonathan Carroll, however, described it as, “entrenched behaviour” which went on for some years.

But he agreed to impose an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 30-probation-supervised activity days, and a six-month 8pm to 8am electronically-monitored home curfew.

Carr was made subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and registration as a sex offender for ten years.