Grantham

Man avoids jail after downloading indecent child images

A man has avoided jail after downloading almost 10,000 indecent images of children on his computer.

Darren Hale, 35 from Grantham, was caught after police received a tip-off about his activities and raided his home in April last year.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said: “Police officers attended at the address where the defendant lives with his parents.

“He voluntarily handed over his computer. He then volunteered the fact that they would find some dubious material on it.

“Officers looked at the computer and found indecent images of children.”

Mr Howes said that Hale agreed to attend at the police station for an interview but failed to appear.

“Concern grew. He had left home in his car at 8am and his whereabouts were unknown.

“The police located him in the Humberside area and he was arrested that afternoon.

“He was interviewed later that evening.”

During his interview with police Hale denied he was sexually aroused by young girls when he spoke to officers but accepted he had looked at images of girls aged 14 and over.

A total of 9,898 indecent images of children were found on his computer including 452 in the most serious category and 25 hours of video footage.

Darren Hale, of Oakdale Close, Grantham, admitted three charges of making indecent images of children between March 2008 and April 2019.

He also admitted a further charge of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

Mark Watson, in mitigation, said there was evidence that Hale suffered from mental health problems including depressive illness and anxiety.

Mr Watson said: “There are admissions and remorse. There is clearly a prospect of rehabilitation and he has strong personal mitigation.

“As a result of this he has lost his involvement with the church and with hockey and he has been affected significantly by mental health issues.”

Hale was given a 10 month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

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