Man asked for help to beat his addiction to child pornography, court hears

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A man who became involved in communicating sexually with children broke down and asked for help to beat his addiction when interviewed by police, a court has heard.

Joshua Dickinson, 26, was arrested after police executed a search warrant and seized a number of electronic devices from his home.

Norwich Crown Court heard police found 10 category A images - the most serious - and one category A movie as well as 15 category B images and 62 category C images.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said Dickinson had accessed social media sites and was found to have been communicating sexually online with a 13-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl.

Police also found messages between Dickinson and an adult male who was said to be involved in the abuse of young children.

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He was interviewed by police about the offences, which happened between February and June last year, and initially refused to give police password details but became tearful and admitted he was addicted to child pornography and “asked for help so as to not repeat his offending”.

Dickinson, formerly of Norwich but who now lives in Manchester, appeared in court on Thursday (September 10) having previously admitted three offences of making indecent photographs of children and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual communication.

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Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said Dickinson, who had no previous convictions, was a clever and articulate man who has “thought a great deal about the offences”.

Mr Oliver said that having left university Dickinson moved to Australia for a year in 2015 when he suffered a stroke.

He was cared for by a man who came back to Norwich to live with the defendant for a year before he moved back to Australia after his visa ran out leaving the defendant alone, isolated and very low.

Judge Stephen Holt said just because the victims in this case were anonymous there were “very real victims out there”.

But Judge Holt said it was quite clear Dickinson was “deeply ashamed and very remorseful” meaning there was a very real prospect of rehabilitation.

Dickinson was given a two year community order made up of 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) and 30 days on a sex offenders programme, called Horizon.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) for five years and ordered to sign on the sex offenders register for five years.

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