JUST five days after a former Rugby man had been sentenced for downloading images of child abuse, the police seized a new computer from him with more images on it.
And after hearing that the original sentence imposed by Nuneaton magistrates had been unlawful, a Judge at Warwick Crown Court jailed Richard Grant for a total of 36 weeks.
Grant, 53, of Lea Crescent, Rugby, at the time of his first offences, but later of Catesby Road, Radford, Coventry, had admitted 12 charges of making indecent images of children.
Prosecutor Sarah Pedley said that in April 2009 a friend of Grant’s wife was at their home in Rugby to help set up something for her on their laptop computer.
As he was doing so he came across what appeared to be a slide-show of indecent images of children, so Grant’s wife contacted the police about it.
When officers went to Lea Crescent to seize the computer and speak to Grant, he handed them a hard copy of the 32 images which he said he had received on the laptop.
Of the images, 23 were classed as level one, showing children in naked poses, but two were of the most serious level, showing two girls aged between ten and 12 bound in what the Judge described as a ‘sado-masochistic way.’
When he was questioned, Grant said the images had been sent to him by someone he chatted to over the internet, and that he believed the girls in them had an average age of ten.
He admitted he had regularly searched the internet for images of children, which he looked at for sexual pleasure, for about six months, and ‘chatted’ to children via the internet.
Grant pleaded guilty at Nuneaton magistrates court to nine charges of making indecent images of children.
On February 4 the magistrates sentenced him to 26 weeks in prison suspended for three years with a condition of taking part in a sex offender treatment programme.
But Miss Pedley pointed out that was an unlawful sentence because the maximum it could be suspended for was two years – so the case was to be listed again a week later.
Two days before that hearing officers went to his new home in Catesby Road where he said he had bought another laptop six months earlier and admitted there were more indecent images on it, explaining that he had ‘a keen interest’ in young girls.
The police found seven images, including one at level four showing an adult having penetrative sex with a child.
As a result Grant pleaded guilty to three further charges and was committed to the crown court to be sentenced for those and the nine earlier offences.
David Rees, defending, said Grant had been on bail for two years since his original offences – and he submitted that if it had been lawful, the three-year suspension would have been appropriate to enable him to co-operate with treatment.
Mr Rees, who said there was no evidence Grant had viewed the new images after February 4, said: “His life has been destroyed since April 2009.
“The only contact he has had with his wife since then has been text messaging, and then that tailed off.”
Jailing Grant, Recorder Adam Feest told him: “It is worrying indeed that someone in your position, having been caught, you re-offend in this way so soon.
“Had the magistrates court sentence been lawful, you would have been in breach of the suspended sentence and I would have been fully entitled to impose the full period of it.
“These offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence is merited. People who look at images of young girls being sexually abused perpetrate the abuse.
“The victims in those images are having their lives destroyed so people like you can get sexual satisfaction.”