Hartlepool pervert admits decade of accessing child porn

Ross has been accessing indecent images for 10 years. Picture by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Ross has been accessing indecent images for 10 years. Picture by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

A 69-year-old man who had a stash of child porn on his computer told police he had been downloading the images from the internet for 10 years.

Michael Ross admitted he had a sexual interest in young girls, which a judge said was an unusual admission, and the first step of rehabilitation.

Prosecutor Rachel Masters told Teesside Crown Court police received information that an internet address was being used to download indecent images.

“The geographical location of that address was traced to the defendant’s house in Hartlepool,” added Ms Masters.

“Police spoke to Ross there, and he was frank with them, telling them he had been looking at the images for about 10 years.

“Nine devices capable of storing images were found in the house.

“Ross said there would be indecent material on all of them.”

Police found 41 of the most serious category A images, 32 at category B, 2.895 at category C, and 272 images of extreme pornography.

Ross, of Throston Close, Hartlepool, admitted three charges of possessing indecent images of children, and one charge of possessing extreme pornography, all on August 20, last year.

Andrew Teate, defending, said in mitigation: “He is a man of previous good character.

“The majority of the images were of the least serious category, which the court may feel is the best reflection of the seriousness of this offending.”

Imposing a six month sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said the community would be better served by Ross undertaking sex offender treatment than by sending him to prison.

The judge said: “I accept the majority of the images were of a less serious nature, and that is a better overall reflection of what you were doing.”

Ross was made the subject of an order limiting his internet use, and banning him indefinitely from unsupervised contact with children.

He must register as a sex offender for seven years.

The computer equipment will be destroyed.