A paedophile who pleaded guilty to making 17 indecent images of children was spared jail today (Friday, January 17).
Judge David Farrell QC told Neil Burrows, 33, of Potton that he should be ashamed of himself – but that prison was not the appropriate sentence in this case.
Burrows also pleaded guilty to possessing three indecent images of children.
Luton Crown Court heard that police who raided Burrows’ home in Sheffield Close found 70 indecent images of children on his computer, ranging from level one to four in content – with level five being the most severe.
James Edenborough, prosecuting, said police found 39 images rated as level one, two as level two, 21 as level three and eight as level four.
A further 267 images discovered were also said to be of an extremely pornographic nature, Mr Edenborough said.
Police had previously received a tip-off about a website which had been compromised and now contained indecent images.
An investigation led them to Burrows, who pleaded guilty to the offences during two police interviews.
While he had admitted to downloaded and possessing the images, Burrows claimed that he thought the people in them were aged 18 and 19, Mr Edenborough said.
He added: “It was clear to officers that some contained children who would not have been no older than 15, while others featured children as young as four.”
Sentencing Burrows, Mr Farrell said: “You clearly did this merely for your own perverted, sexual gratification.
“While you were just downloading these images, by doing so you were encouraging the people who make them – as in produce them - in what they do.”
“It is obvious that some sad things have happened in your life in the past but that is no excuse for what you have done.”
He added: “In these circumstances a prison sentence will not be long enough for you to complete a satisfactory programme of treatment.”
Burrows was given a three-year supervisory community order and must complete a sex offenders’ treatment programme.
He is also banned for fives years from using a computer or camera or any other digital device which can contain digital images and which does not contain software which will stop indecent images being accessed or downloaded.
Additionally he cannot make any contact with a female under the age of 18 without their parent or legal guardian’s consent, and must pay £160 in costs.
Mr Farrell warned Burrows he faces a substantial prison sentence if he is found to have breached any of the conditions imposed.