August 2022

Ferryhill paedophile ‘within a whisker’ of being jailed after being caught with more indecent images

A paedophile has been told he was “within a whisker” of being jailed after being caught with more indecent images while subject to a community order.

David Britton was given a community order and put on the sex offender’s register in July 2019 for making indecent images of children.

But the 33-year-old – who is still subjected to the order until September – was hauled back in front of a judge on Tuesday after police found more indecent images on his iPhone when they checked up on him at his home last year.

Britton, of High Street, West Cornforth, Ferryhill, appeared at Durham Crown Court on Tuesday to be sentenced for two counts of making indecent images and one count of failing to comply with notification requirements. He had pleaded guilty to the offences at a previous hearing.

Rebecca Brown, prosecuting, said Britton was also given a 10 year sexual harm prevention order following his conviction in 2019.

She said last year, police went to his home and seized an iPhone and a “self-built computer tower”. When his phone was analysed, one category B image and two category C images were discovered in the “thumbnail section”.

Ms Brown said: “No searches had been made on the internet relating to paedophilic content.”

The court heard that Britton had also breached his notification requirements as he “couldn’t remember” his notification date, but “rectified the situation” when police informed him. Ms Brown said it was a “minor breach” which was “aggravated by his previous conviction”

Sentencing Britton, Recorder Jo Kidd, said it was of “grave concern” that more images were found but said there was “no evidence of internet searches”. She said: “You have come within a whisker of going downstairs to the cells and straight into a prison sentence. But I am just persuaded to draw back from an immediate custodial sentence.”

Britton was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for two years and must complete a sex offender programme and 30 rehabilitation days.

His sexual harm prevention order remains in place and he also remains on the sex offender’s register.