Leeds IT worker caught with indecent images of children

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An IT engineer downloaded vile images of babies being sexually abused on computers at his home in Leeds, a court heard.

Dane Sheldon, 25, was found to have accessed 2,147 indecent images of children after officers seized a lap top and an iPad from the bedroom of the property on College Lawns, Armley, on January 21 this year.

Stephanie Hancock, prosecuting, said 240 images were at category A - the most serious level of offending.

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The images had been accessed using file sharing software. Officers discovered that Sheldon had made internet searches for “seven year old boy.”Three of the images involved babies as young as six months old being abused.

Sheldon was arrested and accepted responsibility when interviewed.

He said he had been accessing illegal material since he was aged 15.

He told officers had extensive knowledge of the computer equipment and software he had used because of his job as an IT engineer. He also told officers he had sought help to address his offending behaviour.

Sheldon, now of New Forest Drive, Middleton, pleaded guilty to 21 offences of making indecent images of children.

Phillip Hammond, mitigating, asked that Sheldon be given credit for pleading guilty at an early stage and being open with police about his offending.

Sheldon was made the subject of a three-community order, during which he must take part in a sex offender treatment programme.

He was also ordered to do 40 hours unpaid work.

Judge Neil Clark said: “Those images were disgusting and the ages of those children mean that they were particularly vulnerable.

“They were grotesque and unpleasant in every way.”

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