Man who had child sex images says he wanted to be ‘paedophile hunter’
A man who downloaded indecent images of children and shared one of them, with someone else claims he was trying to become a ‘paedophile hunter’.
Mark Bateman, 38, told police he sent the image to keep the other person interested.
Police went to Bateman’s home just after midnight on March 18, 2021. Prosecutor Caroline Harris said: “He was arrested and his mobile phone was seized. He said he wanted to be a paedophile hunter.
“He said he used the phone to view adult porn. However, seven inaccessible still images of children at category A were found and three accessible images and six inaccessible images at category C.
“One of the category C images had been distributed by the user of the phone on March 10, 2021.”
Bateman told police he wanted to become a paedophile hunter
He said he obtained the images by internet searches and used the search word ‘teen’. He said he sent the image to keep the other person interested. He denied having any sexual interest in children.
Bateman, of Moorthorne Crescent, Bradwell, admitted possession of category A indecent images of children; possession of category C indecent images of children and distributing a category C indecent image of a child.
Judge Graeme Smith said: “Cases of this nature come before the court every single day of the week. There is an epidemic of child pornography in this country at the moment online.
“I appreciate and acknowledge the explanation you have given. It is ironic that to become a paedophile hunter you have become a paedophile.
“You have come into possession of images of children that are prohibited images. Some are of the most serious category. They are not of very young children but they are of children and that is why you have committed these offences.
“It is aggravated by the fact that you distributed a image to someone else.
Judge Smith sentenced Bateman to seven months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 25 days and 100 hours unpaid work.
He was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for the same period. The judge ordered his phone to be seized.