Burnley dad in court for child porn images

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A Burnley dad was downloading and viewing “disturbing” child porn images of youngsters from a similar age to his own baby, a court was told.

Paul Brierley (29), who had a stash of almost 100 pictures – including 34 at the most serious level, of which two were video clips – lived his life on the internet because he was “ housebound” and isolated.

Brierley, a paranoid schizophrenic, claimed he searched for more and more extreme porn and eventually indecent images of children out of curiosity.

Burnley Crown Court was told Brierley, whose partner is pregnant again, looked at photos of youngsters from less than 12 months old up to 15 years of age.

The defendant, of Colne Road, Burnley, admitted 11 counts of making an indecent image of a child and three allegations of possessing an indecent image of a child. He received eight months in prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision. Brierley must attend the internet sex offender programme for two years and sign the sexual offenders’ register for 10 years. He was given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Miss Mercedeh Jabbari (prosecuting) said last June, police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s family home and seized computer equipment. Brierley told officers he had download pornographic pictures, but they were not of children. He was cautioned, arrested and taken to the police station.

The prosecutor said a total of 97 images were found on Brierley’s mobile phone, a laptop and a computer tower. Thirty four of the pictures were at category A, the most serious, 10 were level B and 53 were category C. He was questioned after the high tech crime unit found the pictures and made no comment. The defendant had 14 offences on his record, but no previous convictions for sexual offences.

Robert Kearney, mitigating for Brierley, said: “He lives now an even more sheltered life than before. He lives with his mother and three siblings.

“He has suffered from mental illness since he was about 13, was first sectioned at 18, has had a number of hospital visits and stays and has had a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.”

The barrister continued: “He doesn’t feel able properly to go out. The only place he feels safe is at home, at his mother’s address. His isolation and effectively being housebound has led to heavy reliance on the internet for his life.”

Passing sentence, Judge Jonathan Gibson told the defendant he (the judge) had seen some of the Category A images. He said: “They are very serious and disturbing, involving very, very young children indeed, together with adults in sexual acts.”