Houghton man avoids prison after being caught with child abuse images

A Houghton man who was caught distributing vile child abuse images over the internet has been spared prison.

David Craddock was identified through his computer IP address after Northumbria Police were alerted by the National Crime Agency, which specializes in cybercrime, that an illegal image had been uploaded using the Kik social media app.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Craddock was arrested at work in June 2021 and his computer devices and phone were seized and examined. Prosecutor Ellen Wright said pictures and movies featuring child abuse and extreme pornography were found.

Craddock, 57, of Bear Park Close, Houghton-le-Spring, pleaded guilty to distributing one Category A image, which is the most serious, and three Category C images. He also admitted making three Category A images, one Category B image and eight Category C images, as well as 14 extreme pornography pictures and movies.

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced Craddock to 22 months imprisonment, suspended for two years. with rehabilitation requirements 300 hours unpaid work and £300 costs. Judge Mallett said Craddock was of previous positive character and has a good prospect of rehabilitation.

Annabel Lenton, defending, said the offences all took place over the course of a week in 2021 and Craddock has been in no trouble before or since. Miss Lenton said Craddock sought professional help immediately after he was caught and left his home.

She added: “He is someone utterly ashamed for what he did. He makes no excuses for it. He has turned his life around since then.”