A FATHER’S exchange of texts with a 14-year-old girl led to the police discovering hundreds of indecent images of girls – some as young as his own five-year-old daughter.
But despite a worrying conviction last year for exposing himself while shouting at women passing his Southam home, Christopher Brown has escaped being jailed.
The 28 year-old of Ploughman’s Holt, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of possessing indecent images of children.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work, to take part in a sex offender programme, and to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Prosecutor Andrew Wallace said in July last year texts sent to a 14-year-old girl were traced to Brown’s phone, which was seized by the police.
Although there was no charge arising from the texts ‘because there was no co-operation,’ a number of indecent images of children were found on his phone.
Mr Wallace said those images involved ‘pre-pubescent females having sex with adult men, and oral sex involving girls as young as five.’
The images were thumbnails from a Dropbox account, and stored in the cloud, which Mr Wallace said showed that, although they had been deleted and were now inaccessible, they had been deliberately saved at some stage.
The court heard Brown had entered his pleas on the basis he had not set out to search for the material, but had started receiving it through a social media group which shared adult porn.
Although Brown said he had only been in the group for about two weeks, Mr Wallace pointed out that the images were ‘still something he has deliberately had to save.’
He added in January last year Brown was in court for offences of exposure after he stood at the window of his home, exposing himself and masturbating, while shouting at passing women to get their attention.
He was given a ten-week suspended sentence, and in August was ordered to serve five weeks of that after failing to comply with supervision requirements.
Kate Hatton, defending, said: “He initially went onto the site with the view that he would be able to develop relationships.
“He then ventured into part of the site which contained pornography. He didn’t think at that point that he would be receiving anything other than adult pornography, but he was sent large amounts of material, some of which was child porn.
“He should have had no further involvement, but sadly he did, and he continued to view the material over the course of several weeks.”
Miss Hatton said Brown, a precision engineer, continued to have supervised contact with his five-year-old daughter, who was 18 months old when his relationship with her mother ended.
Sentencing him, Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC told Brown: “At some stage between August 2014 and July 2016 you collected in the region of 385 images.
“Why you went on to keep those images, albeit for a relatively short period, is not really explained in the pre-sentence report, and you have not as yet faced up to what you interest was in those images.
“One would have thought the fact that you are a father of a young child would have made it plain to you how desperately wicked the creation of these images is.”