August 2023

Pensioner downloaded hundreds of child sex abuse images

A Bournemouth pensioner with an ‘irrational impulse’ to collect things downloaded hundreds of child sex abuse images, a court heard.

Peter Calladine, 77, accessed the material online for many years and made an unsuccessful attempt to stop his offending by taking up bird watching.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard the RAF veteran would periodically delete the indecent content he had downloaded, only to find more images on the internet.

Calladine was spared a custodial sentence when he appeared to be sentenced on Friday, August 25.

Prosecuting, Rob Griffiths said: “In September 2021, Dorset Police received information that there was an IP address that was responsible for either sharing or downloading indecent images of children and the subscriber to that address was Mr Calladine.”

Officers attended two months later and the defendant was arrested.

Calladine was “frank and candid” when interviewed by police, detailing the search terms he had used to locate material of young teenage girls.

Forensic analysis suggested he had accessed such images since 2011.

The defendant told police he had tried to stop looking at indecent images by taking up bird watching but it had not worked, the prosecutor said.

Police found 115 category A, 197 category B and 1,144 category C moving and still images on his computer.

Calladine pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Judge Jonathan Fuller KC said: “There are two or three very disturbing images which are very much the minority of the images in category A and on their own they would justify sending you to prison straight away.

“You have to understand that beyond the screen in the real world there is or there was a five-year-old child and in one case a six-month-old baby being grossly abused, that being orchestrated by undoubtedly criminal organisations who were then filming that so they could put it out on the internet to be watched and to make money out of it. That is the hard reality of these cases.”

The judge said the defendant was of “positive good character”, having “not only served your country but you continue to serve your community”.

There had been a significant delay in the case coming to court, there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation and the offender was remorseful, Judge Fuller KC said.

It was accepted the defendant might have undiagnosed obsessive behaviour which manifested itself in the offending.

Calladine received a two-year community order and must do 25 rehabilitation activity days and pay £340 in costs.

He was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and placed on the sex offenders register for five years.