A PERVERT waited until he was removed the sex offenders register before using the dark web to access vile images of children being sexually abused, a court heard.
After being arrested, James Dignon told police he deliberately bided his time until his period on the register was over before re-offending.
Dignon also admitted that it was “all too easy” to get hold of the images and he had made sure he had been “savvy” by using software that did not leave a digital footprint.
Leeds Crown Court heard officers from West Yorkshire Police executed a search warrant at Dignon’s home on Church Crescent, Horsforth, Leeds, on August 22 last year.
Computers and other equipment were seized. A total of 636 illegal images and movies were found on a USB stick.
Stephanie Hancock, mitigating, said 86 of the images were at Category A - the most serious level of offending.
Miss Hancock said it was clear that Dignon had used his computer and laptop to access the images on the Dark Web before storing them on the USB stick.
Most of the illegal images were of girls. Some were aged as young as two years old. Some of the images featured bestiality.
Dignon said he had decided to use the Dark Web to access the images after reading a newspaper article and doing research about the technology required to access it.
The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that are publicly visible, but hides the IP addresses of the servers that run them.
They can be visited by any web user, but it is very difficult to work out who is behind the sites. Sites cannot be found using search engines. Almost all sites on the so-called Dark Web hide their identity using an encryption tool.
Dignon, now of Crichton Place, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to seven offences of making indecent images of children.
The court heard Dignon had pleaded guilty to similar offences at Winchester Crown Court in 2008 and was made the subject of a three-year community order and ordered to take part in a sex offender treatment programme.
Dignon had also been ordered to go on the sex offender register until 2012.
Michael Walsh, mitigating, said Dignon had been open and frank with police and the probation service about his latest spate of offences.
Mr Walsh said Dignon had also sought help from his GP and wished to continue to receive treatment to prevent him from committing further offences.
The court heard Dignon was now separated from his wife as a result of his latest offences. A probation service report assessed Dignon as suitable for further treatment.
He was made the subject of a further three-year order and told he must return to the sex offender register for five years.
The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Collier, QC, said: “Unfortunately once the period of registration and notification came to an end you then reverted to looking again at images of children. Once you were discovered you were open with police and the probation service and have been frank with the court.”