Child porn man given ‘second chance’

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A BOROUGHBRIDGE man thanked a judge for giving him a “second chance” after being spared jail for downloading child porn.

Fifty-five year old Jeffrey Clifford Cook of York Road, Boroughbridge was handed a 36-month community order by the Recorder of York Judge Stephen Ashurst yesterday after admitting possessing more than 1,000 indecent images and videos of children at an earlier hearing.

He faced 20 charges of making indecent images, including video files, with one image at the most serious level of classification, and one charge of possessing 1,143 images.

Judge Ashurst sentenced him to a 36-month community order with a requirement that he complete a sexual offenders programme he described as “difficult and challenging”.

Cook was also banned from owning or using a computer or mobile phone with access to the internet, unless the device had a history function that would allow the police to check its browsing history; banned from taking part in any voluntary work that would bring him into contact with children; and placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

Judge Ashurst warned him that any breach of the community order would see him returned to the Crown Court and sent to prison.

Prosecutor Tamara Pawson told the court that in December 2009 police became aware a computer user at Cook’s address had been downloading indecent images of children since 2006.

On January 4 2010 they visited the address and spoke to Cook’s wife, who confirmed she and her husband were the only occupants of the house.

Cook, a sales representative, returned from work and immediately admitted to being the only user of the computer, before being taken to Harrogate police station for questioning.

There he admitted the charges and claimed that he had moved on to downloading indecent images of children after viewing animal porn, but he had not gained any sexual gratification from the pictures, said Miss Pawson.

In defence Jon Gregg praised Mrs Cook’s support for her husband.

“To describe her as his bedrock would not be an overstatement,” he added.

Sentencing Cook Judge Ashurst said: “I am influenced by reading the testimonials from people who know you, in particular one from your wife.

“She too has had to cope with the embarrasment of her husband being named publicly as someone who downloads indecent images of children.

“She has stood by you and you should be extremely grateful.”

After hearing his sentence, Cook told the court he was “thankful” for a second chance, and promised not to let the judge down.