Married father from Morpeth who had thousands of child abuse images avoids jail

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Police seized electronic devices when they went to the address of Joseph Pond, who, when scanned, discovered the material.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 53-year-old, now from Olympia Drive in Belfast but officially from Morpeth, was at home with his family last year when officers arrested him.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of fabricating indecent images and was sentenced to two years behind bars, suspended for two years.

Joseph Pond was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Omar Ahmad said: “Police executed a warrant at the accused’s home on January 5 last year following intelligence received from the National Crime Agency that indecent images had been uploaded to the internet via Yahoo with an IP address linked to the accused’s address.

“The defendant was warned and arrested and the defendant was present with his wife and two children at the time.

“Devices were seized including a mobile phone which the defendant was holding at the time – this phone was forensically analyzed and found to contain indecent imagery.”

The court heard there were 2,224 Category A images found with 37 videos, along with 2,211 Category B images and eight videos.

There were also 4,649 Category C images and five videos discovered.

Mr Ahmad said there were another 2,493 images classified as borderline, but not illegal.

He added: “I would say the pictures are as serious as it gets in cases of this nature.”

The court was told that the ages of the children depicted in the material ranged from infants to 11 years old.

Pond told police during his interview that his username was “Jimmy Saville” and when asked why, he said it was so other users would know his intentions.

He also said he would view the images and delete them using special deletion software, but then upload them again at a later date.

Claire Anderson, defending, told the court that the defendant suffered childhood trauma growing up, which was never properly treated.

Ms Anderson said: ‘There is very little that can be said to explain or mitigate it.

“The defendant has not attempted to deny that he has a very clear sexual interest in children.”

However, Ms Anderson added that Pond’s childhood experiences had effectively led him to lead two “different versions of himself”.

At sentencing, Mr Recorder Mark McKone said: ‘The public expects an immediate jail sentence for offenses like these.

“I have to use my judgment and experience to decide what makes it most likely that you will stop this kind of offence.

“I have to balance the grave seriousness of these offenses with the prospect of rehabilitation.”

The judge told Pond he had “fought” with the case and accepted that he had previously led a law-abiding life. The judge also said he considered Pond’s immediate admission during an interview.

He added: “People never get a second chance for these kinds of offences.”

Pond was also placed on a sexual abuse prevention order and must sign the sex offender register, both for 10 years.

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