Hartlepool loner traced after sharing child pornography on internet is spared jail
A loner who shared disgusting images of children being abused with other perverts narrowly avoided being jailed.
Nathan Barker, 30, downloaded almost 3,000 indecent photos and videos from the internet but was arrested after he uploaded a small number to the social media and messaging app Kik.
His email address and phone number led police to him.
Teesside Crown Court heard that children as young as just four months to 14 years were in the illegal images with some in obvious pain as well as those who had been drugged or were intoxicated.
Barker admitted three counts of distributing indecent images, three of possessing indecent images and one of possessing extreme pornography.
But he was spared an immediate prison sentence after the judge said society would be better off if he took a sex offender treatment course not available inside.
Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said: “Police had been made aware of an email address and telephone number which linked to this defendant had been responsible for distributing category A indecent images to the Kik chat room.”
Police went to his home and seized his iphone.
Ms Atkinson added: “The examination of that telephone showed between 14 December 2019 and 2 February 2020 on eight occasions he had distributed two category A images, three category B and seven category C.”
There was 2,887 indecent images on his phone.
Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said Barker had been “a bit of a loner” who had begun by watching adult pornography.
He said: “Around this time he refers to his mind being in a bubble, not thinking straight and this pornography he was watching has got much darker and more sinister.”
He added Barker, who had no previous convictions and has some learning difficulties, had since opened up more to those around him.
The judge Recorder David Gordon said every child in the images was a victim and Barker helped create a market for such material.
"This is serious offending let there be no mistake about that at all,” he said.
But he said a probation report was encouraging that any risk he posed could be managed in the community.
Barker, of Stirling Street, Hartlepool, was received a 20-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years, probation and will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.