Enmore pervert who shared child abuse image in chat room spared jail

A pervert who posted a child abuse image on a chat site was caught when an American law enforcement agency tipped off the British police.

Andrew Hack’s home in Somerset was raided after the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children detected suspicious activity on the internet.

The sender of an image on the Chatstep website was traced back to the IP address of his home in the village of Enmore, near Bridgwater.

He was found with more than 1,500 pictures of teenaged girls in sexual poses which he had downloaded from the internet and small number of images showing more serious abuse.

Search terms in his computer showed an interest in under age girls and he admitted ‘bingeing’ on images and being addicted to them.

He told police he was disgusted at his behaviour and has since taken courses run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation to change his attitudes.

Hack, aged 53, admitted two counts of distributing indecent images of children and one of making them by downloading.

He was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, and ordered to undertake 35 rehabilitation days by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

He was put on the sex offenders register for ten years and made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which enables the police to monitor his internet use for the same period.

The judge told Hack:”You have no previous convictions and have made a positive contribution to society but these matters arise from information received from the US authorities that you uploaded an image to a private chat room.

“You admitted bingeing on illegal material. You admitted deleting a lot of it before accessing more material and deleting it again, and so forth.

“It would appear that you were not trying to evade detection, but were seeking to break out of the cycle of offending.

“It is plain you are aware of the impact on the victims of these images, who are exploited at an extremely impressionable age. The psychological harm remains with them.”

Miss Kelly Scrivener, prosecuting, said the American agency alerted British police in 2017 and Hack’s home was searched on July 19 that year. He was only interviewed a year later, after the material was analysed.

He distributed two images to the Chatstep website, one of which was in the worst category, showing serious abuse, and the other at the middle category.

Experts found 293 accessible and 1,208 inaccessible images of naked or partially clothed girls in sexual poses. There was also evidence elimination software on the computer.