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Pervert tried to delete sick child porn pics

UNPLEASANT IMAGES... Paul Townsley escaped a prison sentence despite being caught in possession of child pornography.

UNPLEASANT IMAGES... Paul Townsley escaped a prison sentence despite being caught in possession of child pornography.

A PERVERT who was caught with a sick stash of child porn after his paedophile friend was arrested for rape has walked free from court.

Paul Townsley tried to wipe the hard drive of his computer after he was spoken to by detectives investigating the crimes of Ernest Hennigan.

Former road sweeper Hennigan, 59, of Derby Street, Jarrow, is now serving an indefinite sentence for a series of sex attacks, including rape, on two young children.

Newcastle Crown Court heard, despite Townsley’s attempts to hide what he had been viewing, detectives found 36 sickening images and movies of children being abused.

Townsley, 55, formerly of Malton Court, Jarrow, pleaded guilty to possessing the indecent material.

Judge Brian Forster QC said the images were “bad” and told Townsley: “These are unpleasant images, they involve young girls. You must understand the courts have a clear duty to protect those who are used to prepare and publish such images.”

The judge said probation officials are confident Townsley can be worked with safely in the community, which would be a benefit to him and society as a whole.

He sentenced Townsley to a community order for three years with supervision and sex offenders’ treatment programme.

Townsley must abide by the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for the rest of his life and sign the sex offenders’ register for the next five years.

Katherine Dunn, prosecuting, had told the court: “In February 2011, Ernest Hennigan was arrested at his home address in relation to serious sexual offences for which, in due course, he received a substantial custodial sentence.

“This defendant was aware of the arrest of his friend, Ernest Hennigan.

“In fact, the defendant was spoken to as part of the inquiries into Hennigan.

“He handed over his laptop and internal hard drive to the police.”

The court heard before Townsley had handed the equipment over, he had attempted to wipe his hard drive and install new operating systems.

Despite his attempts at a cover-up, police specialists were able to retrieve sickening images from both his laptop and hard drive.

Andrew Finlay, defending, said the indecent material had been looked at but not stored or saved in any way by Townsley, who has never been in trouble before.

Mr Finlay said Townsley lost his home and long term-partner after his sordid secret was revealed and has become “socially isolated”, living in fear of repercussions,

He added: “He is worried people in his community will recognise him and he will become a target for abuse or assault.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazette

 
 
 

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