October 2011

“Fantasist” David Hanstead who had 3,000 child porn images spared jail

A ‘FANTASIST’ who was found with over 3,000 images of young boys on his computer has narrowly avoided jail.

David Hanstead, of Rydal Drive, Maldon, last month pleaded guilty to four charges of downloading and possessing the images.

But although he was threatened with a custodial sentence, the 49-year-old escaped with a suspended sentence and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

Passing sentence at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC, said: “The nature of your crime has passed the custodial threshhold and therefore I must sentence you accordingly.

“However, the minimum sentence would see you released from prison in a matter of weeks, which would not benefit anyone.

“Instead, I am sentencing you to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.”

Judge Goldstaub called Hanstead a ‘fantasist’ obsessed with looking at porn images on his computer.

He was arrested in July last year after hard drives were seized from his two computers. And he admitted to downloading 1,741 images found on one computer and 1,531 found on another between April 17, 2009, and July 15, 2010.

He further admitted possessing prohibited pictures of children, ranging in scale from one to five, with five the most extreme.

Judge Goldstaub also ordered the destruction of Hanstead’s computer equipment and required him to attend an internet sex offenders’ treatment programme.