Norfolk man sentenced after admitting possessing, making and distributing indecent images of children

PUBLISHED: 09:45 19 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:14 19 February 2014

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A man who admitted making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children after viewing websites because he was “curious” had been given a suspended jail sentence.

Paul Gray, 53, of Manor Way, Ormesby St Margaret, near Great Yarmouth, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday having previously pleaded guilty to 20 offences in relation to the possession, making and distribution of indecent images of children between May 2011 and August 2012.

The court heard the counts involved possessing a total of 750 images, with 11 counts of making and eight of distribution although of the 260 images distributed only one was said to be at level five and one at level four - the two most serious levels.

Sentencing Gray to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, Judge Nicholas Coleman said: “It’s extremely worrying that you should have engaged in the distribution of these images.”

He added: “It should be understood that one man’s lust has hugely damaging consequences to the children where sometimes, if they become aware, the images are distributed around the world for people like you to look at and it must be stopped.”

Andrea Lock, prosecuting, said Gray was arrested at his home address, where he lives with his wife and two children, in April last year.

The court heard Gray, who had been living in a summer house in the garden, had access to two computers one of which had belonged to his brother.

Police had discovered Gray had used his Virgin Media account to download images of children on one of the computers.

When interviewed Gray initially denied ever having downloaded child pornography but following a steady “erosion” began to admit things put to him by police.

He said he had probably accessed certain sites due to “curiosity” and had not got sexual gratification or realised he had done anything wrong.

Andrew Thompson, mitigating, said Gray, a man of previous good character, had been “humiliated” by his arrest at home and had pleaded guilty to the offences which happened at a time in his life when he had lost his job, his brother had been diagnosed with dementia and his wife was having difficulties with her own health, including anxiety and depression.

Mr Thompspon said the behaviour provided him with some “form of escapism from his miserable existence”.

He added that the most serious offences Gray had admitted related to distribution but only two related to the most serious level and they were to other adults not youngsters.

Gray was also ordered to undertake an internet sex offenders treatment programme over the next two years as part of a community order which also includes 180 hours of unpaid work.

He was also made the subject of an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) while forfeiture and destruction of the computer equipment was also ordered.

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