August 2023

Man sent pictures of himself performing sex act to images of children

A man who sent images of himself performing a sex act to images of young girls was told by a judge to “face up” to the fact he was attracted to children.

Paul Topping, of Cunningham Road, Widnes, appeared before Liverpool Crown Court this morning, Friday, August 25 after dozens of indecent images of children were found on his electrical devices.

The court heard officers from Cheshire Constabulary’s online abuse team raided the 33-year-old’s Widnes home on August 5 2022.

Andrew McInnes, prosecuting, told the court that officers seized four electronic devices, including a Huawei laptop and phone, a micro SD card and a Sony mobile phone. Forensic examinations found all four devices contained indecent images of children and extreme pornography.

Further examinations of Topping’s WhatsApp and Kik Messenger found he had sent the graphic images with pictures of children in the background. On July 8 2022, he distributed two videos of himself performing a sex act to the pictures of children.

All the images of children showed girls aged between eight and 14. Ninety indecent images of children were found in total on his devices, which dated back to September 2020. The images ranged between category A and C in terms of their severity.

The senior circuit judge sentenced Topping, who wore a suit and sported cropped hair and a reddish brown beard, to 15 months suspended for two years.

He also enforced a sexual harm prevention order which Topping is subjected to from today. Topping will have to attend the iHorizon programme, complete 30 rehabilitation activity days and 100 hours of unpaid work as part of his suspended sentence.

Judge Cummings finished by telling Topping the suspended sentence will hang over his head. He said: “You will be a marked man – if you come before the court again, the court will see the suspended order did not work.”