Rugby man kept searching and downloading indecent images of children, despite 'warning shot' from police

Neil Callan
Neil Callan

Despite having had ‘a warning shot’ four years ago, a Rugby man continued to search for and download indecent images of children.

And when the police turned up at Neil Callan’s home, they found him looking at 3D computer-generated images of children engaging in sexual acts.

Callan (55) of Wood Street, Rugby, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing prohibited images of children.

Rejecting an argument that the sentence could be suspended, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC jailed him for eight months and ordered him to register as a sex offender for ten years.

Prosecutor Adam Western said that in May last year police officers went to Callan’s home where they seized his Amazon Fire tablet.

It was on, and on the screen was a prohibited image – a 3D computer-generated image showing children engaging in sexual activity, and officers found 55 further similar stills and movies.

More seriously, there were two category A indecent images of real children - the most serious category. In addition, they found three category B images of children, and 10 category C images showing children.

When he was interviewed, Callan accepted he had several indecent images of children, claiming he had come across them while looking at adult pornography.

But his internet history showed he had visited websites with ‘paedo’ or similar indicators in their names, and his search terms had included phrases such as ‘3D toddlers’.

The court heard that in a pre-sentence report on Callan, the author says: “I consider he is still actively seeking to minimise his behaviour.”

But Richard Baker, defending, said: “He says that is not the case. He says he’s had a lifelong addiction to pornography, and what he was trying to convey was that his descent into this type of pornography is when he’s drinking.”

Judge Lockhart said he was concerned about a reference to Callan having been investigated over internet searches in 2014, commenting that although he was not charged, ‘the warning shot went firmly across his bows.’

Mr Baker said Callan had undergone his first session of therapy with Paula Hall & Associates, an organisation which helps to combat addiction to pornography, and also attends the county council’s counselling service.

“He is ashamed of his actions, and ashamed of facing his children,” said Mr Baker, arguing that Callan would benefit from a suspended sentence.

But jailing Callan, Judge Lockhart told him: “Images such as these of children are extremely damaging.

“Every time an image of a child who has been abused is viewed, the abuse continues. Some of these children were very young, and there was deliberate searching.

“You had had a warning not to do it in 2014. Despite this warning, you went to this material. I have no confidence that any order will be one that you will comply with.”