Ipswich man downloaded more than 80,000 indecent images of children, court told
PUBLISHED: 05:30 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 06:54 09 April 2019
An Ipswich man who downloaded more than 80,000 indecent images of children has been spared an immediate prison sentence.
Christopher Whiting was on holiday in Cornwall when police executed a search warrant at his home in June last year and he voluntarily attended a police station on his return, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Officers seized computer equipment found to contain a large number of indecent images of children, as well as prohibited images of children and extreme pornographic images.
The court heard that Whiting had denied having a sexual interest in children but accepted he had collected “Little Sweetie” images of children under 16 posing naked as he thought they were artistic.
Whiting, 53, of Appleby Close, Ipswich, admitted three offences of making indecent images of children, possessing prohibited images of children and possessing extreme pornography.
Laura Kenyon, prosecuting, said 40 of the indecent images of children and 50 movies were in the most serious level A category, 402 still images and 59 movies were in category B and 88,108 still images and 41 movies were in the lowest level C category.
She said that police also found 1,876 prohibited still images of children and one movie as well as 594 extreme pornographic still images and 32 movies.
The court heard that the images were downloaded between June 2015 and June 2018.
Whiting was given a 20 month jail sentence suspended for 24 months and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.
He was also ordered to take part in a Horizon programme, a 35 day rehabilitation activity requirement and to pay £450 costs.
Judge David Pugh made Whiting the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for ten years and ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period.
Sentencing him Judge Pugh said: “It is important you recognise these aren’t victimless crimes and it is because of people like you that children are put through abuse.”
Oliver Haswell, for Whiting, said his client, who has no previous convictions, was a family man with a long term partner who was supporting him.
He said he was currently suspended from his job as a service engineer and had sought help from the Lucy Faithfull foundation.
He said Whiting had tried deleting the indecent images but his interest in them had “got the better of him time and time again”.