Jan 2010

Child porn recluse avoids jail sentence

A RECLUSE who became addicted to internet pornography – including images of children as young as five – has been spared jail.

Russell Johnson was caught when he used a credit card to pay $70 for child porn from a website police knew about, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

When they raided the home the 34-year-old shared with his parents in Cornel Close, Witham, they found thousands of disks.

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said there was so much material police only took samples, finding 676 images of children aged between five and 12. Four films were the most serious kind. Johnson, now of Pennyroyal Crescent, Witham, admitted making indecent images of children between 2005 and 2007.

Mr Jackson said: “He admitted he had done it for his own sexual gratification and said he had become addicted to it.”

Judge David Turner QC imposed a community order, with three years probation. Johnson must also attend a sex offenders’ programme and remain on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

He was also given a five-year order, severely limiting his association with children and access to computers.

Johnson’s lawyer, Peter Butterfield, said his client had no previous convictions and had been vulnerable. He had expressed remorse and was undergoing treatment, he added.

The judge told him: “In your perverted quest for novelty and something different, you branched out into material of a much greater gravity, involving children.

“You lost your way and your self-control.”