Man downloaded hundreds of indecent images of children

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A man who downloaded 372 indecent images of children told police he had made a “stupid mistake”.

Charles Heaton, 39, of Hollingthorpe Road, Hall Green, downloaded pictures of children aged from two to 15.

Leeds Crown Court heard the images were found on a computer during a police raid on Heaton’s home in January last year.

Heaton admitted 11 charges of making indecent photographs of a child.

Prosecutor Catherine Moxon said Heaton told police during interview that he acted “out of curiosity and ease of access”.

Mrs Moxon added: “It spiralled out of control. He said he had started out on adult sites. He said it had been a stupid mistake.”

The court heard Heaton had also lost his job.

Ian Cook, mitigating, said: “The punishment started long before he reached this court and he is thoroughly ashamed of himself.”

Heaton was sentenced to a three-year community order put on the sex offender register for five years.

Judge Christopher Batty told him: “Those children whose images you were looking at, they were someone’s daughter. It is impossible to comprehend what these children have gone through.”