Portsmouth man who claimed he had 'no sexual interest' in children is caught with nearly 1,000 child abuse images
A MAN who denied any sexual interest in children despite being caught with nearly 1,000 child abuse images admitted he was lying.
When police came knocking at Raymond Hart-Patilla’s door and found a catalogue of abuse images, the 50-year-old claimed they had been downloaded ‘accidentally’ after he had merely been ‘downloading lawful porn’.
Following his arrest on June 9 last year, Hart-Patilla still continued to deny any wrongdoing, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
The court heard Hart-Patilla, of Somerville Place, Tipner, had deleted the images on his desktop before police were able to recover them – sparking an admission from him.
Despite this, Hart-Patilla reiterated he had no sexual interest in children before changing his tune in another police interview. ‘He now accepts he does (have a sexual interest in children),’ prosecutor Siobhan Lynsley said.
The defendant was caught with four Category A images, 79 Category B and 895 Category C.
The court was told the images included moving images and featured children as young as three being abused.
The defendant admitted three charges of possessing indecent images of children, spanning from January 1, 2017, to June 9 last year.
Daniel Reilly, defending, said Hart-Patilla was in a ‘dark place’ at the time of the offences following the break-up of his marriage.
The barrister said Hart-Patilla’s family had ‘stood by him’ with him ‘wanting to work to make his family proud again’.
The defendant has also sought help from child protection charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation to stop his offending.
Judge Timothy Mousley QC told Hart-Patilla, who had no relevant previous convictions, he was downloading the images for a ‘significant period’ but said he had ‘insight into his offending’.
With a ‘low’ number of the most serious abuse images of Category A found, the judge said: ‘There is no need to impose a prison sentence.’
But added: ‘You can consider yourself extremely lucky.’
Hart-Patilla was handed a 24-month community order including 150 hours of unpaid work and 35 rehabilitation days.
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A Sexual Harm Prevention Order was made for five years and he will also have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the same period of time.