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Child pornography offender with 1,700 illegal images is let off without jail time

PUBLISHED: 15:48 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:42 24 March 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A man convicted of gathering more than 1,700 indecent images of children as young as five or six has been spared time in jail.

Paul Hodgson appeared before Norwich Crown Court on March 22, having plead guilty to two counts; one of possessing extreme pornography involving animals, and another of possessing indecent images of children, some as young as five or six.

Hodgson, a resident of Petunia Court, Wymondham, was sentenced to a three year community supervision order, as well as continuing with a rehabilitation programme.

Hodgson, 73, had both searched and viewed 1,708 indecent images of children between 2009 and 2017.

Judge Moore heard how Hodgson had deliberately searched for the images according to his internet history.

Prosecuting, Martin Ivory told the court how Hodgson was arrested after the police carried out a search warrant at his address in September of last year. The police reported they had also found images which were ‘indicative’ of Hodgson’s crimes.

The court also heard how Hodgson had three previous convictions, including exposing himself to an 11-year-old school girl.

Defending, John Morgan told the court that Hodgson had already begun using a rehabilitation programme ‘Stop It Now’, and has admitted he has an issue. “Acceptance is the best starting place to putting it right,” Mr Morgan said. “He wants to make sure he never offends again.”

Judge Moore said: “The probation officers are right that Hodgson poses a danger to the public, and it is important to address the underlying issues.” On her decision to not send Hodgson to prison, Judge Moore said: “You could go to prison for three months and not address the underlying issues, and still be a danger to the public. With a community order you will have to address them. Do not think you have got away with a soft touch, this is your last chance.

“If probation officers do not think you are actively trying to address these problems you will be bought back before court. I have reserved the case for myself so that if you do come back, you will see me.”

Hodgson will also have to undertake sex offenders registration, and will have to present his mobile or web history whenever requested by the police.

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