South Shields man caught with 165 sickening child abuse images is spared jail

Matthew Calvert
Matthew Calvert

A man who confessed to having a sickening collection of child abuse images has walked free from court.

Matthew Calvert had an illegal haul of 165 pictures and videos featuring children as young as four, up to around the age of 15.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 42-year-old confessed to police he had been looking at such images for around a decade.

Calvert, of Essex Gardens, South Shields, pleaded guilty to making and possessing 165 indecent images of children, which included 78 of the most serious category of their type, as well as possessing one extreme pornography image.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court Calvert's computer equipment had been seized after his internet activity came to the attention of the police last September.

While the equipment was still under examination by specialists, Calvert contacted the police to confess and tell them what they would find.

Miss Dowling said: "He contacted the police himself and said he wanted to be spoken to. He effectively admitted in in his interview to viewing indecent images of children.

"Before they had been analysed properly, he was making admissions to the police."

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced Calvert to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements and a two-month, night time curfew.

Calvert must sign the sex offenders register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Judge Mallett said a probation report indicated Calvert had a "long standing interest" in child images and a "somewhat disturbing attitude" towards them.

The judge said Calvert presented as a "high risk of serious harm to children" if he offended again, which is unlikely in his circumstances.

Charlton Carr, defending, said Calvert was born with spina bifida which has effected his life which has resulted in related problems and stopped him from working.

Mr Carr added: "He has no previous convictions, he has pleaded guilty, he is ashamed of himself.

"He had the foresight to come clean, to fully admit what he had been doing. He wants help and he will work with the relevant authorities."