Royal Wootton Bassett man downloaded hundreds of images of child abuse, court hears

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: A Royal Wootton Bassett man who downloaded and catalogued hundreds of images of child abuse, including toddlers being raped, as well as extreme adult pornography has been spared an immediate jail term A Royal Wootton Bassett man who downloaded and catalogued hundreds of images of child abuse, including toddlers being raped, as well as extreme adult pornography has been spared an immediate jail term

A man who downloaded and catalogued hundreds of images of child abuse, as well as extreme adult pornography, has been spared an immediate jail term.

Christopher Booth, 20, of Glebe Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, also created lewd collages involving local schoolboys, although this was not said to be a criminal offence.

After hearing that the database director at Virgin Media was just a teenager when he committed the offences a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Friday that police were investigating other matters when they took his computers and storage media in June 2012.

But officers soon found he had folders which were full of vile pictures and movies of children as young as 18 months being abused.

Mr Meeke said a total of 1,089 indecent image of children which had either been saved, deleted, or in unallocated clusters, were counted on the machine.

He told the court detectives now stop counting when they get to a certain amount in a category of image to speed up the investigation.

The collages of local schoolboys were described as "not an offence but indicative of his proclivities," said Mr Meeke.

Booth pleaded guilty to having indecent images of children and extreme pornography.

Tim Greaves, defending, handed the court a letter from his client's father, but added he had not been told of the full extent of his son's offending.

He said the offending took place over fours starting when Booth was 15.

Since his arrest in 2012 he said the matter had been hanging over his head and he had told no-one about it until the past few days.

He said his client comes from a "respectable and hard working family" and he has to face the stigma and shame of what he has done and his job as a database director with Virgin Media may now be at risk.

He said: "These were the actions of a young curious man. He has had the stress and worry of this hanging over him for two years."

Recorder Nicholas Atkinson QC said: "Many of the images having been saved and filed by you are dreadful sexual images of children.

"One is never sure whether they are sexual or simply perverted, sadistic and cruel images. You have spent hours in the dark over many years looking over such images.

"The damage to he children is physical, mental and psychological and potentially long lasting.

"The demand of people like you, who wish to view the matter, guarantees more and more material will be created causing more and more suffering to children.

"Your assaults on these children are through your computer. You have brought shame on your family."

He imposed a 12 month jail term suspended for two years with supervision and a sex offenders' treatment programme.

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