Man given ten year order but is spared jail after police discovered more than 500 indecent images of children

A man who created more than 500 indecent images of children was spared an immediate jail term because of the good work he has done on himself.

By Emma Ryan
Friday, 29th October 2021, 11:27 am

Mark Steiner, of Wood Street, Castleford, carried out the offences between January 6, 2018 and October, 12 2019 where it was calculated that he had created 65 indecent still images and 74 moving images which were deemed Category A - the most serious.

Emily Hassell, for the prosecution added that there were a further 112 still and 17 moving images that were classed as Category B and 242 still images and six moving images that were graded as Category C and the least serious of the case.

They came to light on October 15 2019 when police executed a warrant following intelligence received but Steiner, now aged 34, wasn't home. He was arrested at work and his phone and laptop were seized but he told officers he was "just curious".

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Leeds Crown Court.

Search terms, that were found on all the devices that were seized and examined, included "pre-teen", "incest" and "paedophile". The images had also been filed on the computer into sub-categories labelled "young", "more-young" and "child-porn".

Ms Hassell added: "There are aggravating features - young children aged two to 15, there is a high volume of images, there are deliberate search terms and some suggestion you were circulating and receiving images."

Sean Michael Smith, defending, said: "As a consequence of his arrest he has done an inward look at himself. The defendant ought to be given the opportunity to continue the good work that he has completed on himself."

Steiner has no previous convictions, is not in work and in receipt of benefits.

When sentencing Steiner to a ten month sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Neil Clark said he took into account the defendant's previous mental health issues, a bereavement and him losing his job, as well as the time it had taken for the case to work its way through the court system through no fault of Steiner.

Judge Clark added: "You downloaded images, of category A, B and C, of children being physically abused. They are very serious offences. Not only because these children suffered while these were being prepared, but undoubtedly continued to suffer great emotional distress in remembering these offences.

"If they recognise that people are looking out of curiosity, want to see them, enjoy and satisfy some degree of curiosity - it perpetuates their misery. You have sought help for the issues that may have caused you to do this and resolve why you were interested. I have read your letter and that of your partner and your mother and note the efforts that they have made to support you."

Steiner was also ordered to complete 30 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement Days, 100 hours of unpaid work and given a ten year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

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