Foster carer downloaded sickening child abuse images to his phone, Leeds Crown Court told

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A foster carer who was in charge of looking after a baby has avoided custody after he was caught downloading sickening child abuse images.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child that was in his care, was caught with 270 illegal images and videos.

Leeds Crown Court heard that police raided his home in West Yorkshire and seized two electronic devices, including a Samsung mobile phone.

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They found 25 movies and two still images classed as Category A – the most serious – downloaded.

The foster carer had downloaded child abuse images to his mobile phone (library pic).The foster carer had downloaded child abuse images to his mobile phone (library pic).
The foster carer had downloaded child abuse images to his mobile phone (library pic).

They also found two Category B movies and 246 Category C images.

Most of the children being abused were between three and five years-old, prosecutor Louise Pryke told the court.

She said they found “systematic searches” for the abuse images on the phone, along with links to bestiality sites.

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The man, who is in his 30s and has no previous convictions, admitted three counts of possessing illegal images.

There was no suggestion that any of the images involved the child he was fostering at the time.

Mitigating, Jemima Stephenson said that the defendant had suffered a breakdown after his arrest and had genuine remorse for his actions.

She said: “It occurred at a low time in his life, he had turned to cocaine and spent more time on the internet.

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"He went from watching legal porn to accessing this entirely inappropriate material.”

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Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told him: “You had a nervous breakdown immediately after your arrest because of the concerns about the ramifications.

"Your card has been marked if there is any repetition of you committing these kind of offences of this nature.

"It’s a suspended sentence but next time you will not be so lucky.

"What you need is help.”

He handed him eight months’ jail, suspended for 18 months.

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He was also given 30 rehabilitation days and a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) to limit his internet use.

The Yorkshire Evening Post has contacted the local authority under which the defendant was fostering, to inquire if he has since been struck off.

No response has been received as of yet.