A MAN was found with pictures of child sex abuse and bestiality on his computers.
Police raided the home of Nicholas Hunt and found the “offensive and disgusting” images.
The 44-year-old from Bryn Coch Lane, Mold, had been viewing pornography since he was 13 and continued after he was married, Mold Crown Court heard.
But he avoided jail, with a judge arguing it would ‘benefit him and wider society’ to impose a community sentence.
The court heard he was now a broken man whose wife and family had left him and he had tried to kill himself after the images were discovered. Hunt admitted nine counts. In 2012 he possessed extreme images including five showing a sex act with a live animal. He also admitted three charges of possessing an indecent image of a child.
Judge Philip Hughes said he had decided it would benefit Hunt and wider society if, rather than a relatively short custodial sentence, he was placed on a three-year community order with supervision, where his behaviour and attitudes would be challenged.
He was also ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for life and an indefinite SOPO (Sexual Offences Prevention Order) was made to curb his future activities on the internet.
Mr Hughes said the offences provided a market for those who created the images of child abuse.
“That is the evil of this kind of offending,” he said.
It was obvious that Hunt was involved in more images than had been found on his computers. Images had clearly been deleted but their file names indicated the nature of them. It all demonstrated he had “an unhealthy interest in children”, which he was sharing with others in chat logs, Mr Hughes said.
But he was previously a man of good character. The judge said he had read character references from his line manager, his best man, his father and his GP, and the judge said he was lucky so many people were standing by him. The case had also impacted on his own health.
“From everything I have read about you, you can rightly be described as a broken man,” he said.
The court heard that after Hunt’s wife and two daughters had gone to bed he would spend hours viewing images on the internet and discussing them with like-minded people on the web.
Prosecuting, Simon Mills told how the investigation was started by the Metropolitan Police who, during another case, found an email containing an indecent image of a girl had been sent to the Hunt’s home address in Mold.
A warrant was executed in September of last year at the home he shared with his wife and daughters, aged 15 and 11.
Two computer towers and a hard drive were seized, encryption software was present to protect his work but Hunt refused to give any passwords.
Police had to call in the national technical advice centre in London to crack the codes and when the files were examined there was evidence of an interest in child sex abuse and bestiality.
There were also chat logs where he had discussed such images with others and he had file sharing software where he and another had thanked each other for the “nice stuff” they had on their computers.
But there was no evidence that the prosecution could show that actual distribution had taken place.
In his first interview, Hunt largely gave ‘no comment’ replies but, after the images had been discovered, he was more forthcoming.
He said he had been looking at porn since the age of 13, had become desensitised to it, he had continued throughout his life and after he married, and would do it when his wife and children were in bed.
Owen Edwards, defending, said that his client was disgusted with what he had done and accepted the nine images were not the full picture.
“He has confessed to an interest which became increasingly bad and serious over the years,” he said.
Hunt was a well-respected man from an impeccable background who in a depressed state had spent hours watching appalling material.
He had been brutally frank with all who knew him and admitted what he had done.
“If ever a man understands the corrosive effect and impact of extreme pornography, it is Mr Hunt,” Mr Edwards added.
Hunt was in fact glad that he had been caught.
He had spent 14 months “staring into the abyss” awaiting the conclusion of the case.
His wife and family had left him and he had made a serious attempt on his own life.
“As far as this court is concerned, nothing it can do can compare to what he has been doing to himself. He stands before this court a broken man.”