December 2019

Pervert downloaded indecent images of children

A married dad handled “workplace stress” by downloading indecent pictures of children, a court has heard.

Richard Woodcock, 46, of Moss Lane, Hesketh Bank, Preston, built up a stash of 1,654 images of children being abused by adults, Preston Crown Court was told.

And in a further sickening twist he edited an image of a youngster he knew.

The child’s dad was present in court as Woodcock admitted making 496 images deemed category A – the most serious in law – with a further 336 at category B, 822 at category C and 17 prohibited images.

He was given 16 months, suspended for two years, with a rehabilitation requirement, and a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

When his defence lawyer told the court it happened at a stressful time in his life, Judge Beverley Lunt remarked: ” We all have stress – we don’t do this.”

The court heard Woodcock had gone onto a chat room to view adult pornography, and at first was “vitriolic” about some of the content, but had begun chatting to other people.

Since his arrest he has sought help from charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which supports people to address their tendencies.

Judge Lunt said: ” Your excuses for having possession of these images are frankly pathetic and they cannot possibly explain why you should access this number of images.

“There were 1,654 images of children being sexually abused by adults, plus 17 pseudo images – including one you created.

“Adding breasts to an innocent image of a child of someone he knew is a gross breach of trust.

“You represent to the world the outward appearance of a hard working family man. That plainly was not the truth between 2016 and 2017.”

However she accepted he had pleaded guilty and sought help for his “perverted interest in children”.

She ordered him to sign the Sex Offender’s register for 10 years.