A Southam father has avoided jail after pleading guilty to possessing 385 indecent images of children, with some as young as five.
Christopher Brown, 28, of Ploughman’s Holt, Southam, was caught after an exchange of texts with a 14-year-old girl led to the police discovering hundreds of indecent images of girls on his phone.
But despite a conviction last year for exposing himself while shouting at women passing his home, Brown was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years after his guilty plea to three charges of possessing indecent images at Warwick Crown Court.
He was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work, to take part in a sex offender programme, and to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Prosecutor Andrew Wallace said that in July last year texts sent to a 14-year-old girl were traced to Brown’s phone, which was seized by the police.
Although there was no charge arising from the texts ‘because there was no co-operation,’ a number of indecent images of children were later found on his phone.
The court heard Brown had entered his pleas on the basis that he had not set out to search for the material, but had started receiving it through a social media group which shared adult pornography.
Although Brown said he had only been in the group for about two weeks, Mr Wallace pointed out that the images were ‘still something he has deliberately had to save.’
He added that in January last year Brown was in court for offences of exposure after he stood at the window of his home while shouting at passing women to get their attention.
He was given a 10-week suspended sentence for those offences, and in August was ordered to serve five weeks of that after failing to comply with supervision requirements.
Kate Hatton, defending, said: “He initially went onto the site with the view that he would be able to develop relationships.
“He then ventured into part of the site which contained pornography. He didn’t think at that point that he would be receiving anything other than adult pornography, but he was sent large amounts of material, some of which was child porn.
“He should have had no further involvement, but sadly he did, and he continued to view the material over the course of several weeks.”
Sentencing him, Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC told Brown: “Why you went on to keep those images, albeit for a relatively short period, is not really explained in the pre-sentence report, and you have not as yet faced up to what you interest was in those images.
“One would have thought the fact that you are a father of a young child would have made it plain to you how desperately wicked the creation of these images is.”