August 2023

Jail term suspended for pervert caught with child sex images

A pervert caught with a sick collection of images portraying child sexual abuse has been spared jail.

Shane Lawless was found to be in possession of a number of photos depicting children in a sexual manner.

The 47-year-old, of Runcorn, was subsequently charged with two counts of making indecent images of children, as well as sole counts of possessing indecent images of children and possessing a prohibited image of a child.

But during his sentencing hearing ay Chester Crown Court on Thursday, August 10, a judge allowed him to walk free with a suspended sentence.

Nardeen Nemat, representing the prosecution in the case, outlined to the court how the images were found to be in the defendant’s possession between February and November last year.

A forensic examination of Lawless’ devices found that he had amassed 42 of the sickening photos in total.

In addition, officers also found one prohibited image of a child. These are ‘grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character’, such as concentrating on the genitalia of a child or show a sexual act involving a child.

Prohibited images cannot be photographs or photos which have been photoshopped. They are therefore sketches, paintings, cartoons or any other unreal ‘depiction’ of a person.

Lawless, of Whitebeam Close in Runcorn, was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years by judge Simon Berkson.

He must also pay costs to the Crown Prosecution Service of £250 and a victim surcharge of £154, as well as complete 60 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Moreover, the court imposed sex offender registration and notification requirements and a sexual harm prevention order, both in force for the next seven years.