December 2019

peadophile sailor downloaded sickening images of children being abused

A peadophile sailor told police he downloaded sickening images of children being abused in a bid to get the Royal Navy to address his bullying concerns.

Lee Hoad, 34, was caught with a catalogue of images that included toddlers being raped and being forced to perform oral sex.

Hoad appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence after admitting three counts of making indecent photographs of children and possessing a prohibited image of a child.

Prosecuting barrister Katie Churcher told the court how in February last year police executed a search warrant at Hoad’s home in Saltash and seized a number of electronic devices.

During the search Hoad, who wore a Navy T-shirt in court, asked if he could send a work email and when an officer allowed him to do so he glanced over and saw the defendant with a Category A image on his screen, presumably in an effort to delete it.

He was then arrested and his devices taken.

Hoad’s devices revealed 30 Category A images and 11 movies, seven Category B images and one movie and 78 Category C images and three movies. All of the material was date stamped between December 2016 and January 2018.

The ages of the victims depicted ranged from toddlers to early teenagers.

During his first interview Hoad told police officers that he found adult relationships difficult and was questioning his sexuality but denied having a specific sexual interest in children. He added that he was sent them by people he met in an internet chatroom.

When he was reinterviewed Hoad claimed that between 2014 and 2017 he was bullied and assaulted during his service and put in a complaint. Hoad said that his complaint wasn’t acted upon and that he thought if he did something really bad the Navy might start listening.

In mitigation the court heard how Hoad has been in the Navy for 12 years but is now likely to be discharged.

He was also said to have taken steps to address his offending in recent months.

Sentencing Hoad, Judge Robert Linford said: “You downloaded indecent images of children aged six being raped, children exposing themselves and children being forced to perform oral sex on males.

“This material horrifies any right-thinking member of the public and how a person can get sexual excitement from it is beyond right thinking people.

“How it can be said that downloading child porn would help you receive help in the Navy is beyond me.”

Judge Linford said that despite the offending, there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

Hoad was given a two-year community order. He must complete the Horizons programme designed to deal with his deviant interests and a 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

Hoad must also sign the sex offenders’ register and be subject of a sexual harm prevention order.