'Addicted' paedophile avoids jail after judge claims he would not get help

A paedophile with an 'addiction' to child abuse images has escaped another jail term after a judge said he would not get the help he required.
Leeds Crown Court.Leeds Crown Court.
Leeds Crown Court.

Andrew Lynley Ward, who now goes by the name of Beth Hannay, was found to have child abuse images on computers he had at his home in Netherwood Avenue in Castleford.

The 55-year-old had been jailed for 12 months in 2012 for having large amounts of indecent images at his home in Bolton, Greater Manchester, and was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) that was designed to stop him from keeping devices at home with which his internet use could not be monitored.

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Prosecuting, Christopher Dunn, said when Ward was visited last year for a routine check of his devices, it was found he had 17 indecent images, five of which were Category A, the most serious.

It was also discovered he had used a software device to disguise the downloading of such images.

Appearing at Leeds Crown Court, Ward admitted three counts of making indecent images and breaching the SHPO by installing the software cleaner.

Mitigating, Joanne Shepherd, said Ward was now living as a female, but for the purpose of the case was being referred to as a man and by his previous name.

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Miss Shepherd said he had not committed any further offences since being arrested and had sought counselling for what were described as "impulses".

But Judge Mushtaq Khokhar held back from sending Ward to prison, saying that treatment was only available with a community sentence.

He said: "In 2012 you were convicted of large amounts of indecent images of children and on that occasion, given the large scale, it was not possible for the court to give the opportunity to embark on any form of treatment because it called for an immediate custodial sentence.

"It's quite clear you were getting sexual gratification from those images.

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"You call it an addiction, it's much worse than that. It's a perversion and goes against the standards that decent people have.

"As long as you say it's an addiction you are not owning the blame.

"Only once you start acknowledging that it's a perversion can you do something about it. I'm going to give you that opportunity."

He gave Ward a three-year community order which will see him undergo a programme of treatment for his offending.

But Judge Khokhar warned him that should he breach the terms of the order or offend again, he will be sent to jail.