A self-employed Nelson man with almost 300 child pornography images on his laptop has been put on a three-year internet sex offenders’ treatment programme.
Edward Jeffrey (42), of Waidshouse Road, Nelson, was found to have 284 images of child abuse on his laptop when police arrived at his home with a search warrant.
David Macro (prosecuting) told Burnley Crown Court that in a police interview, Jeffrey admitted viewing the pictures for two years.
Jeffrey claimed to have been “not getting sexual gratification” from doing it, however, and instead said he was “researching” having recognised the background to one of the rooms where abuse was taking place.
Mr Macro said Jeffrey had sought help from counsellors and church leaders.
Richard Taylor (defending) said Jeffrey was a family man and was “humbled” by the support he had received from friends and family.
Mr Taylor said Jeffrey was a “troubled” man who was “ashamed” but also one with “a sense of relief” he had been caught and stopped. Mr Taylor said Jeffrey was finding the weekly counselling “extremely helpful”.
Recorder Andrew Edis QC said some of the acts depicted in the images were “the gravest kind of child abuse”.
He said: “Apart from being ashamed of being found out as I have no doubt you are, you might look to think if it wasn’t for people like you these children wouldn’t be harmed like that”.
Recorder Edis QC said it was “particularly disturbing to discover” that Jeffrey had said he had no sexual interest in children.
He said: “That’s completely unconvincing. It’s nonsense.”
Although Recorder Edis QC said a custody sentence would be “richly deserved” he said: “I’m not sending you to prison because you will come out with the same problem.”
As well as the three-year treatment programme, Jeffrey was given a five-year sexual offenders prevention order, a three-year supervision order, signed the sex offenders’ register and paid a £60 victim surcharge and £400 costs.