A 62-year-old man watched ‘vile’ images of children as young as nine being sexually abused on his widescreen TV.
York Crown Court heard that David Barlow was also uploading the sick videos and images on software that allows other people to view them.
Barlow, who lives on Kingston Drive in Hambleton, near Selby, stood in court in a blue suit listening as prosecutor Michael Collins outlined the case against him.
During a national crackdown on cybercrime, the National Crime Agency found the indecent images shared on peer to peer software and traced them back to Barlow’s IP address.
Police stopped Barlow in his car on 3 March last year, before telling him they were going to search his house. Officers found the images on a laptop in his house – they had been viewed as far back as 2014.
Two of the images were categorised as the worst kind of child sex abuse.
Barlow’s digital footprint also showed that he had been searching for images of children being sexually abused for a period of five years between 2014 and 2019, and that he had deleted the images after accessing them.
Suspended jail term
Defending Barlow, Caroline Abraham said that her client had pleaded guilty to the three charges of making indecent images of children, and that he no previous criminal record.
Off his own back, Barlow had contacted ‘Safer Lives’ and had completed a programme designed to help sex offenders. Ms Abrahams told the court that Barlow had shown remorse for what he had done and was now estranged from his wife.
Judge Paul Reid told Barlow’s barrister that “he’s ruined his life” before sentencing him to an eight-month prison term suspended for two years.
Barlow was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years, and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years. This allows police to monitor his online activities.
The 62-year-old was ordered to attend a 90 day sex offender treatment programme, and 30 days of rehabilitation.
Speaking to Barlow the judge said: “This is utterly vile material. By using it, it perpetrates and repeats the abuse. It is difficult for me to understand why a man of your age would start to access this material.
“It is to your credit that you have taken steps to deal with this problem. This is a start. Only a start. You have to keep this programme up, if you don’t you will go to prison.”
Barlow was ordered to pay court costs of £180. The judge ordered that Barlow’s laptop be destroyed.