Leeds paedophile avoids jail sentence over indecent images

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A PAEDOPHILE from Leeds who had hundreds of ‘horrific’ images on his home computer has been spared a jail sentence.

Michael Sykes, 67, of Austhorpe, Leeds, was caught with 688 images and 70 films showing the sexual abuse of children when his computer was seized in October 2012.

Leeds Crown Court heard Sykes, of Austhorpe Drive in east Leeds, lived with his wife during the offences.

Around 20 of the images involving Sykes were classed at level five – considered to be the most serious – as well as 10 of the films.

West Yorkshire Police was made aware of Sykes’ behaviour by Hampshire Constabulary after they dealt with a case involving the distribution of indecent images.

Sykes was convicted over 11 counts of making indecent photographs of children at the court in Leeds yesterday.

He was handed a three-year community order with supervision.

Judge James Spencer, QC, sentencing, said: “When people like you acquire horrific pictures of children being abused sexually in circumstances that terrify them and confuse them, it means that you contribute to the abuse of those children.

“If you did not provide the demand, there would be no cause for these images to be made in the first place.

“The only way to thoroughly understand that and therefore understand what you have done is to undertake this course with the probation service for three years.”

He added: “You have brought shame on yourself and your family and it is about time you made restitution.”

As well as the community order, Sykes was also ordered to undertake a high level activity requirement, which will involve going on a sex offenders treatment programme.

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