A MAN has been jailed for looking at nearly 2,000 images of child abuse after he was made redundant from work.
John Towers, of Hill Head Road, Fareham, appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court and admitted 20 counts of making indecent images of children.
The 53-year-old had been arrested as part of a national police operation which focused on a child abuse website.
When police raided Towers’ home, they found evidence of 1,930 images on a laptop and a tower unit.
Towers admitted in interview that he had been looking at the images since he had been made redundant from his job in 2008. He had worked for the same company for 21 years. He was then made redundant again in 2010.
His defence said this had led to depression and a feeling of failure which he had tried to escape by looking at child abuse pictures on the internet.
The court heard that Towers had not distributed the images, nor made them himself. His defence said he had viewed the images online before deleting them.
Prosecuting Jehad Mustafa said: ‘He gave a full admission in a frank interview. He said that he had started by following links from adult sites, which took him to child sites. He had been let off work and this was happening on a daily basis. He said he had seen everything there was to see on the internet from babies to teenagers.’
The court heard how some of the images were of a child which could have been as young as two years old.
It also heard that Towers considered himself to be ‘addicted to pornography’ and that he was receiving counselling.
Recorder Tim Mousley QC said: ‘It is not just a case of downloading these images for your own gratification, it goes much further than that.
‘These are never victimless crimes. They represent exploitation of young children of the most grievous kind which no doubt has a devastating effect of their young minds.’
He added: ‘Because of the quantity, the breadth and the age of the victims, a custodial sentence has to be served.’
Towers was sentenced to one year imprisonment for each charge to run at the same time, with a minimum requirement to serve at least six months. He was also put on an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.