Porn addict is spared jail

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A PERVERT who downloaded more than 100 indecent pictures and movies of children from the internet has been spared instant jail.

John Lenaghan, who said he was addicted to pornography, was arrested after police raided his Hartlepool home and seized his computer, discs and DVDs.

They were found to contain a total of 106 indecent photos and movies featuring children.

They included 27 pictures and three movies in the second most serious category.

But Lenaghan, 36, was spared being sent to prison straight away after Teesside Crown Court heard he has learning difficulties and has taken steps to deal with his pornography addiction.

Police acting on information searched his house in Arkley Crescent, Hartlepool, on September 19, 2011.

The majority of images found fell into the least explicit category.

Christopher Baker, mitigating, said: “He is genuinely remorseful for what he’s done and he has made significant efforts himself to deal with his problems.

“He has sought help to tackle what he describes as an addiction to pornography.

“He seems to have weaned himself from the use of it altogether.”

Mr Baker added that Lenaghan had separated from his partner over the offences and has affected how he can see his children.

Lenaghan, of Borrowdale Street, Hartlepool, admitted 12 counts of making indecent images of children, one of possession and asked for others to be taken into consideration.

He was given four months prison which was suspended for two years with probation supervision.

Judge John Welford said the seriousness of viewing child pornography had received a lot of publicity following the April Jones murder trial.

But he said that case was on a “totally different scale” to Lenaghan.

Judge Walford said the sentence if Lenaghan had been found guilty after a trial would have been six months prison.

He said: “These are of course appalling offences generally speaking but within the context of your case and the nature of the material, it’s quantity and the facts which I’ve referred to I’m satisfied it’s not necessary to impose an immediate custodial sentence.”

Lenaghan was also given a sex offenders treatment programme and will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.