A Worcester sex offender had the most ‘despicable’ images of child abuse that came to light after alleged ‘Twitter sex chats’ with girls.
Jonathan Hancocks was visited by police at his home in Osier Close, Worcester, after police were alerted to ‘sexualized conversations’ with girls on the popular social media platform.
However, the father-of-two has since had to leave his family home in the city over offenses involving videos of barely abused four-year-old girls.
The 27-year-old, who also resigned as a bus driver, appeared in Worcester Crown Court on Friday after admitting to creating (uploading) hundreds of indecent images of children and possessing extreme pornography involving women and animals.
Michael Aspinall, prosecuting, said that although no charges have been laid against the accused’s Twitter activities, which took place in September and November last year, police attended his home. on December 22 of last year as part of their investigations.
Upon his arrest, Hancocks handed over his Samsung cell phone which contained indecent images of children uploaded to MEGA, an encrypted cloud storage app.
In total, they found 246 images from Category A, the most serious category in the sentencing guidelines, all films showing children between the ages of four and nine.
They also found 59 motion pictures and 25 category B stills and 85 moving pictures and two category C stills. Hancocks also had a Dropbox account that contained 13 “extreme porn images” involving women, horses and dogs.
He was interviewed on December 22 last year, telling officers he was “not sexually aroused” by the footage but was responsible for storing it.
Hancocks pleaded guilty when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester on July 15 of this year.
He admitted three counts of creating indecent images (one count for each category of images) between May 27, 2014 and December 23 of last year.
Defending Robert Tolhurst said his client confessed in an interview, cooperated with police to provide the digital devices and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
Hancock’s relative youth, his previous good character, and the personal steps he had taken to remedy his behavior, including engaging with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, were also put forward as mitigation.
The accused had lost his relationship with his six-year-old partner following his conviction and previous “media coverage,” he said.
Explaining the background to the offenses, Mr Tolhurst said: “He didn’t see his partner as much as he had been. He had started to feel lonely and socially isolated.
“His naive response to this was to search for adult pornography and that led and led him to stray into viewing pictures of children out of curiosity and naivety.”
He said Hancocks, who quit his three-year job as a bus driver, found a “sense of community” in the chat rooms where he was able to tell people about a “shared fantasy” .
However, the lawyer said Hancocks now had “a better understanding of the impact of his offense” and, therefore, “is deeply embarrassed and deeply ashamed of his actions”.
Sentencing judge James Burbidge QC told Hancocks: “All of these images are of a despicable kind and it is beyond the understanding of well-meaning members of society why you would.”
He added: “The children in all pictures are victims. Anyone who seeks to see such pictures is an accomplice in the evil they create.”
The judge told Hancocks, now of Ryefields Road, Stoke Prior, that he had “resigned” as a bus driver “before you were fired”. Judge Burbidge said that a sex offender treatment program was “an appropriate alternative to detention” and that there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation. The probation service had assessed Hancocks as being at “low risk of recidivism”.
A 36-month community ordinance was imposed to include 40 days of required rehab activity, the Maps for Change workbook and 200 hours of unpaid labor.
The judge did not impose a curfew, telling Hancocks: “It could put you back in front of a computer longer.”
A five-year sexual harm prevention order will limit her internet use and contact with children.
He must sign the sex offender register for five years and notify the police of any change of address or other personal circumstances.