A MAN who accessed footage depicting ‘mean and mean’ acts of child abuse has been warned there will be ‘no second chances’ after being spared an immediate jail sentence.
Alan Welsh, 69, told police he received no gratuity from sick images found on a computer seized from his home in February 2020.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard police find 132 indecent images of children in the most serious category A, along with 71 category B images and 119 category C images.
The court was told that the children depicted in the images were mostly female and between the ages of six and ten.
In a police interview, Welsh admitted to being in possession of the footage, telling officers it was sent to him via online chat rooms.
But he denied deriving any sexual gratification from the footage, a story he continued to maintain in an interview with the probation service.
Jerry Hayes, mitigating, said his client, a retired taxi driver, had since expressed “extreme remorse”.
He said: “He is ready to cooperate with the probation services and the various courses they offer.
“He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”
Welsh admitted three counts of possessing indecent images of children.
Judge Christopher Morgan said: ‘It is clear from the material that you were deliberately looking at some point for indecent images of children.
“Denial often indicates firstly that an individual is trying to cover up their criminality and secondly a clear indication that a risk of future recidivism exists.
“Your concession through Mr. Hayes reverts the position to judging this matter solely on the facts which are presented without any consideration of future risk.”
Welsh was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with conditions to complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and an accredited sex offender course.
He will be subject to a sexual abuse prevention order and police notification requirements for ten years.
Judge Morgan said Welsh’s previous good character, early admissions, delay in sentencing and the findings of the pre-sentence report persuaded him to suspend the prison sentence.
He said: “Possession of indecent images of children enables those who take the pictures to continue their evil practice and in doing so they commit and cause harm to the children who are photographed and abused.
“It is, by any standard, a perverse form of sexual abuse that has lasting and often lifelong consequences for those who are abused.
“Those who see them will know that these children have been abused, and by looking at them and looking for them, you are only perpetuating the abuse.”
He added: “This is your one and only chance, if there are any more offenses of this nature in the future you will definitely receive a custodial sentence, there is no second chance. ”
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