June 2019

Leadgate man admitted searching sites to seek out indecent images of children

A pervert arrested on suspicion of downloading indecent images of children told police he accessed them, “out of curiosity”, a court heard.

As part of a wider investigation police visited Callum Godfrey’s home in Leadgate, near Consett, on May 31, last year, and seized two lap-top computers, a computer hard-drive and a mobile phone.

Durham Crown Court heard examination of the devices revealed search terms, ‘Lolita’, ‘Underage Jail Bait’ and ‘LS Models’, with 1,444 offending images found, some moving, but most stills, 62 in category A.

Chris Wood, prosecuting, said Godfrey accepted making the searches, but thought the images were ‘gone’.

He claimed he looked at them when under the influence of alcohol and drugs, but sometimes when sober.

Dr Wood said, when asked why he looked for them, Godfrey told police: “I don’t really know. It was out of curiosity at the time.”

He conceded he may have a sexual interest in youngsters and was aroused by images of teenagers in the 15 to 18 age bracket.

Contrary to what Godfrey told police, however, the ages of the children featured ranged from two to 15, both male and female.

The 30-year-old defendant of Fourth Street, Pont Bungalows, admitted three counts of making indecent images of a child.

Judge Christopher Prince, who made the forfeiture order, told Godfrey: “Over several years you’ve used the Internet to look at all range of indecent images of children.

“Certainly, you were seeking out that imagery.

“But, the question is: ‘What is the best way to protect the public to stop you behaving in this way?’

“It certainly crosses the custody threshold, but I would rather impose a community order to ensure you address your issues.

“To your credit, when police came to your door, you were frank and honest and there’s every reason to believe you will engage properly with the agencies to address your problems.”

Passing a three-year community order, with 30 rehabilitation activity days working with the Probation Service, the judge also ordered Godfrey to attend a sex offender programme.

Godfrey was also made subject to the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and registration as a sex offender, both for five years