Pervert caught with hundreds of vile child abuse images avoids jail

A pervert who was caught with hundreds of the most serious child abuse images has avoided going to prison.

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 7:00 am

Steven Courtney, 30, of Knowles Street, Normanton, admitted three counts of downloading indecent images, including 311 classed as Category A - the most heinous.

There were also 167 classed at Category B and 125 in Category C.

Prosecutor Christopher Dunn told Leeds Crown Court that Courtney's IP address was flagged up to police in November 2018 having downloaded the vile content.

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Courtney's activities were flagged up to police.

Officers went to the address in Park Green, Normanton and seized a computer tower and a mobile phone from Courtney's bedroom.

He was arrested and interviewed where he denied having any sexual interest in children, although he admitted that he knew downloading such images was illegal.

He also claimed the police would not find any illegal images on the devices, but said he used file-sharing software to watch sci-fi movies.

The court was told he had only one previous conviction which was for assault.

Mitigating, Mark Foley said: "There are clear signs that he recognises that he needs to change his lifestyle."

As Judge Christopher Batty went to sentence Courtney, he interrupted from the dock and said: "It will never ever happen again, I will do whatever I can to fix what has been done."

Judge Batty told him that sending him to prison would not get him the help he needed, adding: " "If I follow the guidelines and send you to custody for eight months, you would be locked up for four months, 23 hours a day, and nobody would do the work that is necessary with you."

Instead, he gave him a three-year community order with rehabilitation days, put him on the sex offenders register for five years and gave him a five-year sexual harm prevention order (SHPO), to allow his internet use to be monitored.