A judge has rejected an assessment that a Rugby man who had more than 2,000 indecent images of children on his computers does not pose a risk in the future.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC observed that despite the ‘risk matrix’ suggesting Dariusz Bukatko was unlikely to commit further offences, a probation officer believed he was likely to do so.
Bukatko (45) of Woodside Park, Rugby, was appearing at Warwick Crown Court after earlier pleading guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children.
He was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for two years, and was ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity and to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
In addition, he will have to register as a sex offender for ten years and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order regulating his use of internet devices for the same period.
Prosecutor Paul Mytton said that in September last year the police went to Bukatko’s home with a warrant and seized various items including a computer tower and a laptop.
On them they found files containing indecent images of children, including 535 in category A, the worst category.
There were also 294 category B images and 1,031 category C images.
When he was questioned, Bukatko made some admissions, in that he accepted he was responsible for the images, not his wife, said Mr Mytton.
But Bukatko claimed he had been looking for images of children, not of them engaging in sexual activity, but had sometimes come across such images and had looked at them.
When he was questioned again after the images had been examined, he made no comment.
Judge Lockhart observed: “He seemed to accept he had a problem, but in the pre-sentence report he resiles from that.”
And he told Bukatko’s barrister Angus Stewart: “The question I need you to assist with is the risk matrix which indicates he is unlikely to commit further offences.
“But on the next line [of the pre-sentence report] it says the author thinks he is likely to commit further offences. I’m concerned there is an area of risk which is not going to be addressed. Can I override the risk matrix?”
Asking the judge to impose a suspended sentence, Mr Stewart said Bukatko, who worked long hours as a lorry driver, was heavily in debt and his wife is pregnant.
Sentencing Bukatko, Judge Lockhart told him: “You were of good character until March 2017, but then you began to offend and you offended for 18 months, amassing a vast collection of indecent images of children.
“There were 2,005 images in all, including some videos with some sophisticated encryption. You know far more about this than you are willing to admit. Because of your conduct you have chosen to lie to people.
“This type of behaviour is one where there are victims. It will have had a devastating impact on the child who is being abused. People like you feed the market for that abuse.”
If you are concerned about what you are looking at online, or the online behaviour of someone you know, you can call the confidential and anonymous ‘Stop It Now’ helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice, support and help to stop.
You can also visit get-help.stopitnow.org.uk to find out more.