June 2023

Hexham pensioner caught with child sex abuse images for second time avoids jail again

A perverted pensioner has avoided jail again after being caught with vile child sexual abuse images for the second time in five years.

In 2017, Peter Gill was given a suspended prison sentence after he was found to have a disturbing stash of indecent images of youngsters on his electronic devices.

However, just five years later and despite being on a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, the 71-year-old proved he hadn’t learned his lesson when a random police check revealed further disgusting pictures and a video on one of his memory cards.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Gill was now beginning to understand his offending and “what triggered it” and he had sought help himself from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a child protection charity dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse.

As a result, the pervert, of Slaley Park, in Slaley, near Hexham, has been given yet another chance after he pleaded guilty to two counts of making an indecent image of a child and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

Giving him a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, Judge Edward Bindloss said: “The question for me is, do I sentence you to prison for four months or suspended it and make an order? I have decided that a short prison sentence without any intervention work afterwards isn’t in the public interest here and I’m going to suspended the sentence.”

The court heard that Gill was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, in May 2017 for downloading indecent images of children and was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

However, between March and April last year, he downloaded a further 19 photos, one of which was of the most serious category A kind and 18 category C. He also had a prohibited video of a child, which was an animated video.

Katie Spence, prosecuting, said police conducted a random check on Gill and seized a number of memory cards. Ms Spence added: “Those memory cards were analysed and the images and prohibited video were found. The category A image involved a child between nine and 11 years old.”

The court heard that the category C images involved a child aged between seven and nine, while the animated video depicted a youngster aged between four and six. Gill was subsequently arrested and interviewed.

Gill was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years and was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same period.