Man with images of children avoids jail

Tuesday 29th March 2022 6:00 am
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Gareth Turner
(Gloucester Crown Court )

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A 35-year-old former lecturer from Lydney has avoided jail for downloading indecent images of children to satisfy his ‘addiction for pornography.’

Police executed a search warrant at Gareth Turner’s address in Livia Way, Lydney on July 29 last year, as a result of information provided by the National Crime Agency, prosecutor Neil Treharne told Gloucester Crown Court on Monday (March 21.)

“The occupant, Mr Turner, admitted he was the owner of the internet address at the property and the user of a specific email address,” said Mr Treharne.

He said police seized Turner’s phone which was later analysed and found to have a number of indecent images of children on it.”

Police interviewed Turner over the allegations of uploading images. He gave a no comment interview. but made a prepared statement.

Mr Treharne said: “After analysis of Turner’s phone he was found to have uploaded seven category A images (the most serious category) to the Kik application along with 17 category C images.

“Turner also downloaded 10 category A videos and six images and 11 images of category B featuring pre-pubescent girls aged between eight and 10.”

Jack Barry, defending, said: “Turner is a man of good character and has now left his job as a lecturer in Wales because of these legal proceedings and is working part time for a charitable organisation.

“His primary motive was to obtain more amateur adult material but he admits sharing some indecent images of children out of morbid curiosity.

Mr Barry added: “It is regrettable what happened and Turner is remorseful about his offending and has made significant steps to address his problem after his arrest.

“Turner is effectively addicted to pornography. He had sought help from two different organisations and is fully engaged with them.

“He has significantly reduced his exposure to this type of pornography.

“He is under no illusion that he might be sent to prison today.

“However, I submit that any sentence could be suspended as he has already made significant steps to show there is a real possibility of rehabilitation.”

Turner told the judge that he had asked himself why he had offended in such a way and admitted he was finding it difficult to come to terms with his actions.

He said his situation was slowly improving.

Turner admitted downloading indecent images and videos of children in categories A, B and C between October 4 and October 6, 2020.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC told Turner that by viewing this type of child pornography he was adding to the demand for indecent images and perpetuated the suffering of these children who will have to live with the effects of abuse for the rest of their lives.

Judge Lawrie added: “Because of the videos you downloaded, these offences cross the custody threshold.

“However, I can suspend any sentence because there is a prospect of rehabilitation and that you have already sought help for your addiction.

“When you are not looking at this type of imagery you are industrious, thoughtful, supportive and caring.

“However, you need to reflect on the suffering that your viewing of this imagery has on the victims.”

The judge subjected Turner to a jail term of one year, suspended for two years; ordered him to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and complete 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay a victim surcharge of £160.

He also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of Turner’s phone.

The judge placed Turner on the sex offenders’ register for the next seven years and subjected him to the terms of a sexual harm prevention order limiting his use of the internet for the seven years.

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