September 2022

County Durham man jailed for sharing indecent images of children

A man who discussed with fellow paedophiles what he would like to do to young children, and shared images of them, has been jailed.

Durham Crown Court heard that police went to Stephen Walker’s home on August 4 after receiving intelligence he was distributing indecent images of children.

Christopher Bevan, prosecuting, told the court that the defendant said he was sorry and he was arrested, before various electrical devices were seized.

A laptop, a hard-drive, a memory card and a mobile phone were taken away and examined, with offending images and videos in all three categories of severity discovered.

Mr Bevan said: “On the mobile phone, officers discovered messages that had been sent to two users and category A images had been distributed.”

The court was told some of the images in Walker’s possession featured children as young as one-year-old and in apparent distress.

When interviewed Walker made admissions but said he did not know why he had done it.

The court heard Walker was also having online conversations in which he mentioned children in his area and what he would like to do to them.

Walker, 54, of St Godric’s Drive, West Rainton, admitted distributing indecent images of a child, three counts of possessing indecent photographs of a child and possessing extreme pornographic images.

Judge Jo Kidd told Walker: “You have been looking at very serious images of the sexual abuse of children from as young as one to about 11 for a period of six to eight years.

“The extent of your interest is clear from the significantly large number of images recovered from your devices, 574 of them in category A, some moving, featuring children showing discernible distress by way of their age and great vulnerability.”

The judge said the defendant’s discussions about his sexual preferences for children aged eight and nine, but as young as three or four, and what he would like to do with them, was, “of particular concern.”

Imposing a two-year prison sentence, Judge Kidd also made Walker subject of restrictions under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, as well as the requirement to register as a sex offender, both for ten years.