August 2019

Pervert twice caught with child abuse images avoids prison a second time

A convicted sex offender who was caught twice with child abuse images on his computer has avoided prison a second time.

Andrew Drummond’s desktop computer was seized from his home and 233 indecent images of children found on it.

The disturbing pictures, which depicted children as young as eight, included a 23-minute video and 14 images in the worst category in law.

Drummond, 49, also had four prohibited computer-generated “pseudo-images” of children, Teesside Crown Court heard.

He had installed software which hid users’ identity and was usually used to to access the “dark web”, said prosecutor Jenny Haigh.

Already with a similar conviction to his name, he confessed to police that he wanted to hide his illegal activity.

Ms Haigh said: “He said he had a sexual interest in children.

“Although he preferred those about 13 to 14, he accepted there were younger, pre-pubescent children there and had been viewed.

“He said he knows this is wrong and he wants to get help.”

Drummond admitted three charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing prohibited images of children.

His 12 previous offences included a conviction for voyeurism in 2013, and a community order for making indecent images of children in December 2014.

Judge Peter Armstrong told Drummond: “This is a lapse.

“You have insight into your problem and the distorted thinking which I accept you have sought help for.

“There is a prospect of rehabilitation.

“I am persuaded by the contents of the probation report that it’s possible to avoid immediate custody on this occasion.”

Drummond, of Geneva Crescent, Darlington, was given a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years with a sex offender treatment programme and 25 days’ rehabilitation activity.

“That is not an easy or soft option,” added the judge.

Drummond was given a sexual harm prevention order governing his internet, devices and software use, and will be on the sex offenders’ register, each for 10 years, and was ordered to pay £300 costs.