DCSIMG

Internet child-porn pics man considered suicide

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An internet paedophile from South Tyneside, who downloaded more than 800 pictures of child sex abuse, has walked free from court.

Andrew Watson, 30, was caught with 882 indecent images of children on his laptop, including 24 pictures and two films rated category five, the most serious category.

The material was of both boys and girls, none of whom were over 12 years old, with the youngest being described as under three.

Watson, of no fixed abode, was caught after police swooped on his then home in Marigold Walk, South Shields, on December 9.

Bridie Smurthwaite, prosecuting at Newcastle Crown Court, said: “When he realised what was happening, he leaped out of an upstairs window and ran off.

“Officers seized a Samsung laptop and he was arrested. In his first interview, the defendant said he had been downloading indecent images of children for around two and a half years.

“He claimed he wanted to start up a website asking the public to identify the children in order that the abuse could be stopped.

“He then became hooked, and began to use search engines and file-sharing sites in order to locate more images.”

Watson admitted 10 charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing indecent images of children.

Vic Laffey, defending, said: “I have rarely come across a defendant who has expressed as much remorse.

“He has effectively lost everything in this.

“He has lost his home, all contact with his wife, and due to the proper intervention of social services, he has no contact at this time with his two young sons.

“On more than one occasion, he has considered suicide.

“On one occasion, he was found on the cliffs in South Shields and again on the Tyne Bridge.”

Watson was sentenced to a three-year community order, will be forced to attend a sex offender group work programme, have to notify the police of any change of address for five years, and will be subject to a 10-year sex offender prevention order.

The terms of the sex offender prevention order also prohibit Watson from owning any device capable of accessing the internet or storing images unless it has a fully viewable history and is available to be accessed by police.

He is also prevented from having any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16.

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