Suspended sentence for Sheffield man who downloaded child abuse images involving children as young as four

A Sheffield man, who admitted to downloading child pornography which shows children as young as four being abused, has been given a suspended prison sentence.
A Sheffield man, who admitted to downloading child pornography which shows children as young as four being abused, has been given a suspended prison sentence.
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A Sheffield man, who admitted to downloading child pornography which shows children as young as four being abused, has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Police arrived at Stephen Rose's property in Bowshaw Close, Batemoor on February 19, 2015 after receiving intelligence about his offending.

Prosecuting, Louise Gallagher, told the court: "The defendant was home when the police arrived. He told officers: 'You will find what you're looking for on here,' referring to a HP laptop and an Acer laptop.

"He said: 'This has nothing to do with my housemate, anything you find is mine'."

Officers confiscated three devices from Rose's property, and discovered hundreds of illegal images during a forensic search.

Rose was found to have a total of 107 Category A level images - defined as ones which show children being raped - on his computer. Ms Gallagher told the court that one of the Category A images involved a six-year-old child.

He was also found to be in possession of 67 Category B images, 139 Category C images as well as two extreme pornographic images, both of which involved bestiality. Officers found a further 58 prohibited images of children.

The child subjects in the pornography downloaded by Rose, were aged between six and 12-years-old, the court heard.

Rose initially made no comment in police interview, but later pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, one count of possessing extreme pornographic images and another of possessing prohibited images of children.

Ms Gallagher told the court that Rose was convicted of making and possessing indecent images of children in 2002, for which he received a community rehabilitation order.

Richard Thyne, defending, said that Rose had told him that it was the judge's intention that he would receive help to tackle the issues causing him to offend when he was made the subject of the order.

But the probation service told him that they did not have sufficient resources to help him at that time, and he was left alone with his problems. Mr Thyne said he could not check to see if this was true, because the court did not hold records going that far back.

Mr Thyne continued by saying that following his 2002 conviction, Rose had managed to hold down jobs in administration until his health deteriorated after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

After overcoming the disease however, Rose was still unable to work due to continuing health complications relating to his bowel.

Mr Thyne said: "His only real connection to the outside world is through role-play. It's not surprising that these circumstances have led to him suffering from depression."

The court was told that following advice from Judge Sarah Wright at a previous hearing, Rose had approached the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies charity to ask for cognitive behavioural therapy but had not received any treatment so far.

Mr Thyne suggested this was because Rose was 'not suicidal,' and therefore not high enough on the list to have received the therapy prior to being brought before the court this morning to be sentenced.

Judge David Dixon said of the case: "This court never overlooks these sorts of images. It will undoubtedly have been said to you before that each image you have looked at is as a result of a child being abused.

"That 12-year-old was subjected to unspeakable abuse. A four-year-old had to do things they should never, in a million years, have any understanding of.

"By watching those images you are contributing to them being required, to them being made, and crucially, to those children being abused."

Judge Dixon sentenced Rose to 20 months in prison, but said he was persuaded to suspend it for two years because he did not think Rose would be able to get the help he needed to rehabilitate himself in prison.

He also ordered Rose to complete a sex offenders' programme, made him the subject of a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.

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