Previously unconvicted West Rainton man shared indecent images with 58 people requesting them

A man who accessed indecent child images from paedophilic internet sites claimed he “inadvertently” shared them with like-minded individuals.

Anthony Holt, 64, had 96 requests for the images on opening them on his home computer, on December 26, 2016.

Durham Crown Court heard he failed to click a button quickly enough to prevented them being passed on via peer-to-peer file-sharing software, and so 58 people making the requests were sent images, three of which were ‘indecent’.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said evidence of the file-sharing was found in examination of electronic devices seized in a police search at Holt’s home in April 2017.

Holt later told police he “abhorred” interference with children and claimed to have been “naïve” becoming involved.

The defendant, of Finchale Court, West Rainton, who has no previous convictions, admitted distribution of indecent images, but claimed he had not intended to pass them on.

Adam Scott, mitigating, said inadvertent distribution was, “an obvious risk”, in having file-sharing software.

Recorder Joanne Kidd passed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, during which Holt must attend 30 probation-supervised rehabilitation activity days.

He was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and registration as a sex offender, both for ten years.