Leeds computing student jailed over vile images accessed from ‘dark web’

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A computer studies undergraduate who used the ‘dark web’ to access sickening images of children being sexually abused has been sent to prison.

Macan Sahota was doing a degree in ‘computer security and ethical hacking’ at Leeds Met University at the time he began downloading the vile material.

Leeds Crown Court heard Sahota, 24, used an encrypted web browser in a bid to “cover his tracks”.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said police managed to detect his activities and executed a search warrant at his home in Leeds in March last year.

Illegal images and movies were found on two lap tops and a mobile phone. Some of the 386 still and moving images featured babies being sexually abused and images of a “sadistic” nature featuring children and animals.

Evidence was also found that Sahota had distributed images to others. Sahota, of Dewsbury Road, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to two offences of possession of indecent images of children, two of possession of extreme pornographic images, one of distributing indecent images of children and one of publishing obscene images. Mohammed Zawa, mitigating, said Sahota had stopped accessing the material by the time police detected his offending as he was ashamed of what he had been doing.

Mr Nawaz said Sahota came from a good family and now worked for the family takeaway food business. Mr Nawaz said his client’s mother was a prison officer. He added: “He knows he has brought great shame on them.” Judge Jacqueline Davies jailed Sahota for 16 months. She told him: “At the relevant time you were involved in a course at university relating to computer matters. Those were obviously of assistance to you in your commission of these offences.

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