South Shields man who had 10,000 schoolgirl porn pics on his computer is spared jail

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A pervert who was caught with 10,000 indecent images of schoolgirls on his home computer has walked free from court.

Kieran Whitup, 40, had a sickening collection of “professionally taken” pictures of children, aged between 10 and 14, on his hard drive, which was seized and examined by police after a raid on his home in Laygate, South Shields, last year.

The majority of them can be described as professionally taken, studio photographs of females, aged between 10 and 14. Most were partially clothed or naked, wearing make-up and posing in a deliberately erotic manner.

Katherine Dunn, prosecuting

Newcastle Crown Court heard the illegal images had been stored in the form of a “digital magazine”.

Katherine Dunn, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court: “The majority of them can be described as professionally taken, studio photographs of females, aged between 10 and 14. Most were partially clothed or naked, wearing make-up and posing in a deliberately erotic manner.”

Whitup initially claimed he knew nothing about the pictures and claimed his computer hard-drive had been bought on ebay or found in a skip.

He later later admitted possessing indecent photographs.

The court heard the images were stored between February 2005 and November 2010 and they had not been accessed since 2010.

Judge Paul Sloan QC sentenced Whitup to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with a one-month night-time curfew and supervision.

Whitup has to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years and abide by the terms of a restraining order and sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

The judge said the prison term could be suspended because of Whitup’s previous good character, his guilty plea and personal mitigation, including physical and mental health problems.

Judge Sloan told him: “The vast majority of the images were girls aged between 10 and 14, described as professionally-taken studio photographs of girls, either naked or semi-naked, adopting erotic poses.

“The last time you accessed any of the images was in 2010, and I bear that mind.”

Caroline Goodwin, defending, said Whitup appreciates the damage caused by such photographs.