A husband who hid his child porn habit from his wife for seven years has been spared jail.
Sutton man Alan Ellison admitted downloading more than 50 images of child porn but was given a suspended jail sentence on the condition he gets help for his problem.
Ellison pleaded guilty to four counts of downloading sexual images of children including some images categorised as level four – the second most extreme classification – at an earlier hearing and was sentenced by Croydon magistrates today.
Prosecutor Brinkman May said officers executed a search warrant at Ellison’s Prince Road home in January. He added: “Mr Ellison and his wife were at home. He was informed of the reasons for the warrant and said ‘I know. I’ve been on the internet and I’ve seen what’s out there but I didn’t pay’.
“In interview he admitted viewing them over the last seven years. He came across them while looking at adult images. He said he has no sexual interest in children but admitted inputting search terms including ‘lolita’ and ‘young’ which directed him to images of children.
“He’s never spoken to anyone about it. His wife had no knowledge but may have known he looked at adult porn.”
Police seized four computers from his home and carried out a forensic investigation that revealed a stash of images in the deleted items on the machines.
The court heard how Ellison acts as a carer for his wife and about the problems the revelations have caused him at home. Alan Ambridge, defending, said: “You don’t need me to spell out the impact of this incident on the family.
“Prior to today he has sought some assistance with the problem and welcomes the opportunity to get assistance to make sure this situation never arises again.”
The magistrates pointed out they did have the power to hand Ellison a custodial sentence but said they acknowledged Ellison’s early guilty plea, his willingness to cooperate with police and his personal circumstances.
Ellison was given a 36 week sentence suspended for two years meaning he will face jail if he commits any crime in that time. He was also ordered to pay £165 in costs, has been put on the sex offenders’ register, will have to keep police informed of his whereabouts and attend help sessions.