A comic book fan uploaded child abuse images

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A comic book fan has received a community order to upload child abuse images to his computer. Jack Parnell was chatting about a DC Comics online when the character conversation turned sexual and he received a photo file.

When the police raided his address, they found 821 images of children on his computer. The accused, from Newton Abbot, admitted making indecent images of children and appeared at Exeter Crown Court to be sentenced.

He was given a 12-month community order and was placed on a sexual abuse prevention order.

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Prosecutor Mr Nigel Wraith said Parnell was 22 when police executed a warrant in May 2019. They seized his computer and found 91 images in the highest abuse category.

Parnell said he discussed a DC character online when the person asked him if he wanted to see pictures of children. He said he did and received a Dropbox file which he downloaded and viewed.

He deleted the images, but shortly before the police arrested him, he chose to upload them again. He said he suffered from depression at the time and considered viewing the footage “a form of self-harm”.

Parnell, of Pinewood Road, has no previous convictions. A pre-sentence report said he did not yet fully accept that he had a “sexual curiosity” for children.

Judge David Evans said: “It appears that the online chat between you and another person took you to a very dark and deviant place. You said you considered this material to be a form of self-harm as you walked through a difficult time in your life.

“Presentence reports suspect that you have some sexual interest in the acts committed against children. This may be why you watched the footage and continued to do so.

“Obviously you’re really remorseful and you continue to have mental health issues.” The SHPO limiting its internet use will last for five years. He must pay £240 in fees.

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