'Depraved' former engineer caught with 16,000 child abuse images featuring babies as young as two months old
A former engineer has been jailed after being caught with more than 16,000 child abuse images featuring babies as young as two-months-old.
Kevin Turner confessed he was "addicted to downloading indecent images of children" when police raided his home and found the sickening haul on his electronic devices.
While on bail for the offences, he was caught with another eight illegal videos, featuring the most serious abuse of children, aged under 10, on a memory stick.
Turner, 58, of North Drive, Cleadon, admitted making indecent images of children across all three categories of seriousness.At Newcastle Crown Court today, Judge Tim Gittins jailed him for 11 months.
"What troubles me is the pre-sentence report, in which you say you have no particular sexual interest in children,” he said.
"That's a common enough expression, even for those caught red-handed.
"You were at particular pains to point out there were no children from the UK involved.
"The truth is you have no way of knowing that but the suggestion that somehow lessens the seriousness of your sickening behaviour is wholly incorrect.
"Each view of such an image is a fresh abuse."
Judge Gittins said the children are effectively abused in three ways – by the unwanted sexual act, its recording, and the knowledge it is out there "for depraved individuals like you" to view.
Turner must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.
Prosecutor Jo Kidd told the court Turner's computer equipment had been seized from his home in June 2018 and a total of 16,736 pictures and videos featuring children were found.
Miss Kidd said: "The children depicted in those images, which were both still and moving, encompassed an age range of between two months and 13 years of age.
"When he was arrested Mr Turner made a prepared statement during the course of the investigation, in which he fully accepted being addicted to downloading indecent images of children and that that conduct had been taking place over many years."
The court heard Turner was still on bail for the offences when police went to his home in July this year and he was "reluctant" to let them in.
Miss Kidd said his reluctance may have been because he had an open lap top "displaying pornography" and officers were suspicious about the age of the people on screen.
Police went back to his home on August 4 and seized the memory card containing eight videos of children, who appeared to be under ten, being abused by adult males.
Fiona Lamb, defending, said Turner was a principal engineer until he was made redundant and became a carer for his elderly mother, who has serious health problems.
The court heard Turner has never been in trouble before.