Skegness man had indecent images of children as young as 12 months old

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A Skegness man who downloaded hundreds of child porn photographs was today (Tuesday) jailed for 18 months at Lincoln Crown Court.

Lee Claridge was arrested last year after police officers raided his home in the resort and seized two lap tops and a tablet device.

Jonathan Straw, prosecuting, said that Claridge confessed immediately when officers arrived at the house admitting that he had down-loaded indecent images of children.

When Claridge’s computers were examined officers found indecent images of children as young as 12 months old.

Mr Straw said “A large number of images were recovered. The majority featured children aged between one and 16 the major proportion of which were females aged between six and 12.

“One of the lap top computers had file-sharing software installed which enabled images to be shared with other like-minded individuals.

“The defendant gave a frank account. He said he had been looking at child images for two years as child images turned him on. He said he was disgusted by his behaviour.

“He said that at one point he deleted everything but then started again. He viewed the images regularly and shared images. He said he had distributed images by e-mail. Sometimes as many as 50 images in one e-mail.”

Claridge, 39, of Holland Drive, Skegness, admitted possession of 1,022 pornographic images of children, together with charges of making and distributing illegal images of children. He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

David Eager, defending, Claridge should be given credit for being open and honest about what he had done.

“He was living in social isolation without friends or peer groups and drinking. He began looking at pornography. The problem is that the images became increasingly extreme. The more he was bombarded with these images, the more he became addicted to them.”

Mr Eager said that Claridge was autistic and has Asperger’s Syndrome and urged he should be given a suspended jail sentence to allow him to receive help.

“He is a man of previous good character and has shown genuine and real remorse. He needs treatment. He needs help.”