Portsmouth man with 'interest in children' who sought out sordid baby videos avoids jail

A MAN with a ‘significant sexual interest in children’ who sought out sordid baby abuse videos for his warped obsession was spared jail after taking steps to curb his offending.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st July 2021, 4:31 pm

Reece Shelley, 21, was caught by police with still and moving images of children as young as five being abused in the most horrific fashion.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how online chats involving the defendant also revealed his attraction towards children.

Police became aware of Shelly, who works in the blood and science department at Queen Alexandra Hospital, after suspicions of the force’s child abuse team were aroused in September 2019.

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Portsmouth Crown Court Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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Prosecutor Stuart Ellacott told the court how Shelley ‘denied knowledge’ of any offending when police turned up at his address on December 18, 2019.

Officers seized two phones with the first of those revealing 62 Category A images, 83 Category B and 130 Category C. These included a total of 38 moving images which had a span of 41 minutes footage in total.

The second device had 110 Category A images, 126 Category B and 158 Category C - including a total of 56 moving images.

Conversations from online site Kick were also recovered. ‘The chats showed significant interest in children,’ Mr Ellacott said.

‘The defendant was speaking to another person and was asking for baby videos for him to masturbate over.

‘In another chat he was claiming to be a 15-year-old and was having sexual chat with another user.’

During a second police interview Shelley, of Wells Close, Baffins, came clean and ‘admitted responsibility’ for the images.

Hugh French, defending, said Shelley’s offending started after first watching pornography when he was 12 years of age before he ‘fell down a blackhole’ and turned to child abuse images as an adult.

The barrister said Shelley was receiving support from child abuse prevention charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and was having weekly sessions with a psychiatrist to help him.

‘He needed that knock on the door from police to turn his life around,’ Mr French said.

Shelley, of previous good character, admitted three counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Judge David Melville QC said the offending was aggravated by the fact the children were so young and some of the images were of the ‘most serious’ nature.

‘Each photo taken of the children shows the manipulation, abuse and violation they suffer which can cause them a lifetime of effects,’ he said.

‘Sometimes they find it impossible to form relationships.’

But the judge acknowledged the ‘significant steps’ Shelley had taken to change his ways and said: ‘(The offences) cross the custody threshold but there is no doubt in my mind it would be unjust to impose a prison sentence.’

Shelley was handed a three-year community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and 40 rehabilitation days and told to attend a program to tackle his issues.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order for five years and told to sign the sexual offences register for the same period of time.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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