A Washington pervert caught with obscene indecent images of children has avoided jail.

Christopher Gilby had more than 1,000 illegal pictures and videos, some showing young children even being raped.

He claimed he was only looking for “lawful” teenage pornography when he “stumbled” upon them.

Newcastle Crown Court heard it was in June 2019 that police seized computer equipment from his home. He was found to be in possession of 15 of the most serious, category A images, four category B and 1,119 category C.

The court heard some of the images were of children aged under 10. The 40-year-old, of Lumley Close, Oxclose, Washington, nonetheless pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images and was given a suspended prison sentence.

Court Recorder Mark McKone KC told him: “All these offences are serious. The class A images are especially serious because they show children being raped.

“When you look at those images you encourage other people to photograph these dreadful crimes taking place. You deny deliberately downloading child images but you accept you are addicted to pornography.

“The public regard this offence as very serious and expect a prison sentence to be imposed. On the other hand, I’ve got to consider what order will make it less likely you will commit offences of this nature in future.

“I’ve been persuaded a suspended sentence order will make it less likely you will offend in future because the probation service can provide you with specialist help, which you would not get on licence after you had served what would be four months in prison. The public will also be protected by a sexual harm prevention order and by your registration as a sex offender.”

Both of those restrictions will last 10 years and he was sentenced to eight months suspended for two years with rehabilitation.

By SGM

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