MORE than 500 indecent images of children as young as four were found on a pensioner’s computer.
Peter Shirt appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court after pleading guilty to three charges of making indecent photographs of children consisting of 69 category A images, the worst kind, 58 category B images and 372 category C images.
He also admitted two charges of distributing indecent photographs of children consisting of one category A photograph and six category C.
Prosecutor Matthew Lawson said: ‘The defendant was arrested on October 2, 2017 when police traced the IP address after an indecent picture was uploaded.
‘He wasn’t at home but they examined his computer after getting consent from him over the phone.
‘When his laptop was examined, the images listed in the offences were found. They dated between May 2016 and October 2017.
‘The children were a young age including aged five to six. Images related to the category A offences were of children as young as four.
‘Chat logs were found on the computer that date from early 2014 but these did not form part of the charges. They contained very disturbing material.
‘He has sent photographs but it is not known what they consisted of.’
Mr Lawson told the court that when interviewed by police, 67-year-old Shirt denied searching for the images but said he had seen some online.
‘He also denied any sexual attraction towards children,’ Mr Lawson added.
Shirt, who had no previous convictions, was sentenced to 16 months in prison suspended for two years. He will also sign a sexual harm prevention order and have to sign the sexual offenders register. He must pay £350 court costs and £140 victim surcharge.
Matthew Farmer, mitigating for Shirt, of Woolmer Street, Emsworth, said he was a carer for his wife who has learning disabilities and was a ‘very lonely man’ when the offences occurred.
He added: ‘He needs help and assistance.’