Redbourn man, 44, escapes jail over child porn charges

PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 September 2012

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Archant

A 44-year-old pornography addict caught with indecent images of children at his village home has avoided a jail sentence.

Stephen Mason was handed a 36-month community order at St Albans Crown Court after admitting to having more than 1,000 pornographic images, which were found when police raided the property in October last year.

He was convicted on 10 counts of making indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children, and a further two counts of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Mason, who lives in Redbourn, was also put on the sexual offenders register for five years and disqualified from working with children.

The court heard how officers had searched the house and seized equipment containing 1,070 images, including a computer, external hard drive and DVDs.

Prosecutor Alex Krickler also told the court that when Mason was interviewed by police he recognised he had a pornography addiction but was surprised by the amount of images that were recovered.

He went on: “He said he goes on the internet after he has been drinking and he was drinking regularly up to 100 pints per week.

“He said he has sought to get some help and he was not specifically going looking for images of children.”

Mr Krickler added: “He accepted full responsibility for what was on his equipment and said he was disgusted in himself and needed help.”

Recorder Samantha Leigh also served Mason with a sexual offences prevention order that states he can only use devices to access the internet that can be monitored by a public protection unit.

Passing sentence she said: “It is clear that when people know that someone has been viewing indecent images of children the feelings of revulsion are obvious but I have to look at the sentencing guidelines.

“In my view this is a relatively low number of images and I would be looking at a starting point of 12 weeks. In my view a sentence of a couple of weeks is not long enough as the public need protecting.”

In addition Mason will attend a sex offenders programme, alcohol treatment for a minimum of six months and pay costs of £450.


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