A Doncaster man who admitted to downloading child abuse images has been sentenced to a community order ‘in the public interest’.
The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, said he felt able to steer away from sending Adam Marriott to prison for downloading indecent images of children because he believed he stood a better chance of rehabilitation through an intensive community order.
He told Sheffield Crown Court today: “It seems to me that the public interest would be best served by trying to rehabilitate you, by pulling you away from what most people would regard as filth of the highest order. If that can be done, then something will be achieved, good can come out of the bad.
Judge Richardson added: “I’m throwing you a lifeline to pull yourself away from this depravity. Seize it with both hands, pull yourself into a better life.”
Marriott’s penchant for child abuse images was uncovered by police in August 2017, when an operation aimed at catching offenders led them to his address.
“They found the defendant in a flat he was living at in those premises, and they found his computer and two hard drives, which were examined by analysts,” Carl Fitch, prosecuting, told the court.
31-year-old Marriott was found to be in possession of two Category A images; four Category B images; two Category C images and 257 prohibited animated images, which depict pseudo-children being abused.
Category A is the most serious of the legal categories for indecent images of children, which is defined as material that shows children being raped.
The court heard how Marriott, of Windermere Close, Mexborough downloaded the images between April and August 2017 and subsequently deleted them, but analysts were still able to retrieve them from his computer.
Mr Fitch said Marriott made ‘full admissions’ when interviewed by the police, and said he had been looking at the images for a ‘sexual reason’.
Marriott, who has no other convictions, pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images of children at an earlier hearing.
Under the law, 'making' an indecent image can refer to the 'opening, accessing, downloading and storing of online content'.
Judge Richardson said Marriott’s pre-sentence report indicated that he has led had an ‘extraordinarily sad life,’ following the death of his mother when he was a child.
He sentenced Marriott to a two-year community order, the conditions of which include up to 36 days on a group programme for offenders and a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Marriott was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years, and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same length of time.
The purpose of a SHPO is to prevent an offender from committing more sexually-motivated crimes by imposing a range of conditions, such as banning the subject of the order from owning an internet-enabled device on which users can delete their browsing history.