A paedophile who had more than 530 indecent photographs and videos of children on his computer, including of one young victim in ‘distress and discomfort’, has been spared jail.
‘Porn addict’ Brian Andrew Allen, 34, of Angel Lane, Alnwick, downloaded lewd material of girls aged between six and 13, and used internet search terms such as ‘pre-teen hardcore’.
He obtained the images through peer-to-peer file-sharing software, which searches connected computers in a network to help the user locate content. His offences came to light after police seized his computer tower.
Allen pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images of a child and one offence of possessing 535 indecent photographs of a child. Yesterday, at Newcastle Crown Court, he was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Bridie Smurthwaite, prosecuting, said that Allen had 282 category A (penetrative sexual activity and sexual activity) images, of which 242 were movies. She added that he had 103 category B (non- penetrative sexual activity) images , including 67 films, and 150 category C (other indecent images, not in categories A or B) images, of which 41 were movies.
Allen had originally denied the charges, but changed his plea shortly before the trial.
Nigel Hedley, defending, said that Allen had problematic personality traits, has been dependent on alcohol and doesn’t have a normal perception on life. He said that Allen was addicted to legal pornography – ie featuring adults – and that there had been no sophistication to his actions.
Judge Milford QC said: “Police seized your computer and found 535 indecent images. Some were stills, some were movies, and one child in particular was engaged in sexual activity with a male and appeared to be in distress and discomfort. You used search terms that demonstrated that you were looking for images of exactly this sort of material.”
He added that Allen will be required to undertake a sexual offences group-work programme, so that ‘work can be brought to bear on your perverted sexual tastes’. Allen is subject to a two-year supervision order, a five-year sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.