British man arrested by police for downloading child abuse images from the dark web

A "lonely" man in Clifden was arrested and given a suspended sentence by the court for downloading images of child abuse.

Bristol Crown Court described Alan Clare, who moved to the town from London and visited pedophile websites on the dark web. He downloaded images of teenagers being abused and was discovered by police.

Clare, 49, of Yeoward Road, admitted possessing indecent images of children between January 2019 and February 2020.

His Honour Judge Peter Blair QC, recorder for Bristol, gave him a 14-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

He told Clare: "You have become more aware of the terrible consequences for children of people like you accessing paedophile websites. These are truly appalling crimes."

The judge imposed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order designed to deter him from re-offending, ordering Clare to be recorded on the sex offenders register for 10 years and banning him from working with young people.

Clare was sentenced to 40 days of rehabilitation and 40 days of unpaid work and told to pay £425 prosecution costs and a £149 victim surcharge.

Prosecutor Nicholas Lee said police found based on information that Clare possessed images of various levels of child abuse, including 705 category A images of the highest level of harm, 37 category B images and 2,445 category C images. He also possessed 12 images of children who were strictly prohibited.

Lucy Taylor, defending, said her client was willing to participate in the rehabilitation.

She said, "His interest in pornography began with BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism), which led him to seek out this fetish on the dark web. This led him to other images, which led to him downloading images that were found to be illegal."

Ms. Taylor said her client entered a cycle of looking at images, downloading them and storing them, and they succumbed to the urge to do so again.

She said, "He felt lonely after moving from London to Clifden, he spent a lot of time on the computer and he was sorry for committing these crimes."

Ms. Taylor added that her client's knowledge of the criminal justice system made him aware of the harm caused by what he saw.

From:On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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