November 2019

BT engineer who downloaded child abuse images is spat at in the street

A BT engineer who was caught downloading child abuse images may be forced to move house after becoming the target of a hate campaign.

Michael Grimes has been spat at in the street in Teignmouth and received a threatening letter since it emerged that he had accessed more than 400 child images.

He was traced by police because he used peer to peer file sharing sites to download the images as well as 236 more items of extreme pornography showing adults having sex with animals.

Grimes, aged 61, is also at risk of losing his job at BT, where he is a network designer in the Open Reach wi-fi division, Exeter Crown Court.

He has never been in trouble before and told police he searched for images of pre-teens out of curiosity rather than because of any sexual interest in children.

Grimes, of Teignmouth, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and two of possession of extreme images.

He was ordered to undertake a sex offenders treatment programme during 35 days of rehabilitation activities as part of a two year community order.

He was also made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which enables the police to monitor his internet use, put on the sex offenders register for five years, and ordered to pay £535 costs by Judge Peter Johnston.

He told him:”You are of good character and have brought up two children and I am told you have started to suffer the social opprobrium attracted by cases like these. You may well lose your job and have to move from your settled accommodation in Teignmouth.”

Mr Rob Yates, prosecuting, said police intelligence linked his IP address to suspicious activity on a file sharing website in March last year and led to a raid on his home.

A computer hard drive and memory stick were examined and 418 images were recovered, of which most were in the lowest category C, showing child nudity or sexual posing.

There were only 36 in the worst category A, which shows adults taking part in penetrative acts, and 13 at category B, which shows non penetrative acts. There were 236 extreme images of adult sadism or bestiality.