A paedophile who distributed disturbing images of children over the internet has been locked up.
Police found that Jason Leonard, 31, had downloaded 251 indecent images of children when they investigated his computer equipment – five of which were at the highest level.
The ‘remorseless’ sex offender then shared the images on the internet using a file sharing website. The court heard that Leonard had originally intended to take his case to trial and air his ‘distorted’ views to a jury.
Judge Beverely Lunt was unable to class Leonard as a dangerous offender but said he met the criteria in her view.
She jailed him for 32 months due to the number of high-level images and because of Leonard’s views which she said did not merit any airing.
She added: “The only thing that can be said in your favour is that you did plead guilty. Because of the views you have expressed I would have found you to be a dangerous offender.” Prosecutor Michael Wallbank told Burnley Crown Court how police had searched Leonard’s Haslingden home in January 2012.
They seized computer equipment which was sent to police technology experts and a ‘high number’ of indecent images were found.
Five images were at the highest level 5, 87 images at level 4, 50 images at level 3, 36 at level 2 and 73 at level 1, Mr Wallbank said. Leonard had admitted downloading and viewing indecent images of children and using a file sharing website allowing users worldwide to view the images.
Leonard, of Pilling Street, Haslingden, pleaded guilty to distributing indecent photographs of a child. Phillip Holden, defending, said Leonard has ‘paedophilic tendencies’ but the distribution of images was difficult to determine.
He said: “We can’t say it’s widespread distribution as the evidence doesn’t seem to point to that.”
Mr Holden said the defendant was frank with the probation service and appeared to have a lack of remorse but had pleaded guilty to the offences. He added: “His original intention was to run a trial and set out these views in front of a jury in a rather more public form than he does today.”
Leonard was also handed an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order prohibiting his internet usage and use of image storage devices. He must sign the sex offenders’ register for life and is disqualified from working with children for life.
Rosenndale free press