A CLECKHEATON man who had hundreds of indecent images of children on his computer, some aged as young as two, has avoided jail.
John Walker, 20, pleaded guilty at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court to three counts of possession of indecent images from March 2015 to December 2017.
The court heard that police executed a search warrant at Walker’s Mount Crescent home after receiving intelligence, and discovered over 800 photos.
Officers found 14 of the most severe Category A images, which usually involve obscene images of penetrative sexual activity. There was one Category B image and another 864 Category C images – typically showing sexually suggestive content.
Shamalia Qureshi, prosecuting, said: “The images were of children between the ages of two and 15 and had been on his devices for just over two-and-a-half years.
“He said he first started looking at girls aged 15 to 16 and didn’t search for them specifically but fell upon them while looking for gaming modifications.”
Mrs Qureshi told magistrates that looking at the images made Walker “sexually aroused” but that “he wasn’t attracted to young girls and hadn’t shared the images with anybody else”.
But District Judge Michael Fanning said: “The orders that need to be undertaken are well beyond the time you’d spend in prison.”
The judge added that “a prison sentence would not assist the public at all.”
He sentenced Walker to a community order including 40 rehabilitation activity days and the 27-day Safer Lives programme – for people who commit online sexual offences.
Walker was also made to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order.
He will have to pay £85 in costs and an £85 victim surcharge, as well as having his computing equipment and any other devices seized and destroyed.