400 indecent images... but no jail term

Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

A man who had more than 400 indecent images of children on his computer, some of girls as young as two, has been spared jail.

Police raided Anthony Dews’s home in Johnson Street, Mirfield, last summer after receiving intelligence that he had put some images on the internet.

Officers found 420 indecent images and 14 movies on his computer, with 44 in the highest level categories.

The ages of the girls in the images and films ranged from two to 14, and included one boy aged 13, Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday.

Christopher Jackson, prosecuting, said that Dews had been searching for images of older teenagers before he started looking for pre-teen girls. “He would save images for a period of time to look back at,” Mr Jackson added.

Dews,29, had an interest in teenage girls in silk clothing and discussed this with people on the internet, Mr Jackson said.

Police could find no evidence that Dews was sending any of the images to other people.

“He had been shocked at the content of some of them,” Mr Jackson said.

Dews at first denied having a sexual interest in children but later admitted some interest. He pleaded guilty to 11 counts of making indecent images of a child.

Judge Christopher Batty, sentencing, told Dews that “because you and people like you” downloaded such images, a young girl had been forced to undergo an “horrific ordeal”.

He said: “That little girl was someone’s daughter, someone’s granddaughter, someone’s sister, and she goes through that – an event that she will never wipe from her mind and that in all probability will ruin her life – all because you and people like you find it sexually gratifying.

“She is one of countless little girls and boys who are on a daily basis put through these horrific ordeals.”

Dews was handed a three-month supervised community order with a 60 day activity requirement and ordered to complete a sex offenders’ treatment programme. He will be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for five years and is banned from working with children.

Judge Batty said he felt the public would be better served if he continued his rehabilitation, instead of serving a four-month prison term where he would not be given help with his problem.