June 2022

Pensioner who downloaded indecent images of children avoids jail

A pensioner who was found with more than 80 indecent images of children was not handed a prison sentence, after a three-and-a-half-year delay for his case to come to court.

Barry Chapman, of Woodlands Park in Allostock, appeared in Chester Crown Court on Wednesday, June 22, for possessing 81 indecent images, including 56 category A images, 20 category B and five category C.

Judge Steven Everett admitted if the 76-year-old had been sentenced three years ago, he would have been handed a suspended sentence, but the severe delay in the case had to be taken into account.

Prosecutor Jane Morris told the court police first received information on July 31, 2018, and a number of devices were seized from Chapman’s address.

While he had searched for and viewed the images at some point between 2006 and 2018, there was no evidence to suggest he had distributed them.

Judge Everett said had Chapman been sentenced three years ago, he would have been subjected to a suspended sentence.

“But the delay is important,” he continued.

“You have stayed out of trouble for all that time.

“The probation officer believes you can be rehabilitated with a community order.

“The officer does not believe there should be any punishment element attached to that order because you have effectively had a suspended sentence for the past three years.”

Chapman was handed a two-year community order with 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He must sign the sex offenders register for five years.