July 2022

Pervert dad deemed a serious danger to children

A salesman and dad-of-one who shared sick child abuse images with other paedophiles told the police “I have a weird fascination with things like that”.

Derby Crown Court heard how Andrew Mitchell also said “I have been expecting a knock in the door for this” when police officers went to his address.

The 45-year-old downloaded and viewed thousands of depraved videos or pictures including girls as young as two being raped.

And he also had just under 500 similar illegal photos of people engaged in sexual activity with animals. He is now on the sex offender register for the next decade.

Handing him a 16-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “These offences clearly pass the custodial threshold and a further feature in this case. which you admitted in interview, was forwarding the URLs to others and as a consequence of that they would have had access to these depraved images which you looked at.”

Julia King, prosecuting, said the investigation arose when a cloud storage service in New Zealand passed on information to the UK’s National Crime Agency of a number of email and internet addresses which were accessing vile child abuse images.

She said among them were Mitchell’s and police went to his address on May 5, 2020.

The prosecutor said: “He said to them ‘I understand why you are here, I have visited those websites’.

He said ‘I understand I have a weird fascination with things like that, nothing more’ and he was joined by his wife and he told them ‘she knows the sites I have been visiting’.

“He said ‘I have been expecting a knock on the door for this’ and then gave a ‘no comment’ interview.”

Miss King gave descriptions of some of the images and videos the police found. She said they included children as young as two to four being raped.

Mitchell, of Linden Road, Barton-under-Needwood, near Burton, pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images. There were 710 of the most serious category A, 872 category B and 2,601 category C.

He also admitted possessing 492 extreme pornographic images which typically involve bestiality. Miss King said: “He said he participated in adult sex chats following the break down of his marriage and admitted he downloaded hundreds of indecent images.

“He was aware he was making the images available to others by sharing them but he has not been charged with distribution (of indecent images).”

As part of the suspended sentence, Judge Bennett ordered the defendant to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and to attend 45 rehabilitation sessions.

He also handed him a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and placed him on the sex offender register, also for 10 years.