Shopworker caught with sickening collection of child abuse images on mobile phone

A shopworker who was caught with a sickening collection of child abuse images on his mobile phone has kept his freedom.

By Karon Kelly
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 4:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 4:54 pm

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Richard Winter, who works at a convenience store, had a total of 197 still and moving pictures as well as 17 prohibited images and two extreme pornography photographs on his Sony device.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the phone was seized and the vile catalogue was found when police raided his home in July 2020, after they received information an indecent image had been found on a Tumblr account linked to him.

Prosecutor Paul Cross said: "He told the officers he was responsible for the upload and directed officers to his bedroom, where a Sony Xperia mobile phone was seized.

Richard Winter.

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"The phone as examined and indecent images detected."

The court heard 47 of the child abuse images were category A, which is the most serious, 57 were category B and 93 were category C.

Four of them were moving images.

Winter, 24, of Braefell court, Albany, Washington, admitted making indecent images, possessing prohibited images and possessing extreme pornograpy between December 2017 and July 2020.

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Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Winter has a supervisory role at the convenience store where he works and has been in no trouble before or since his house was searched in July 2020.

Miss Coxon said Winter is a hard-working man who handed in character references, has support and is willing to work with the authorities to find out why he committed the offences.

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced Winter to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and programme requirements, a £350 fine and £150 costs order.

Winter has to sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Judge Mallett said: "The fact in this case that there is a good prospect of rehabilitation is supported by the fact no further offences have been committed in the meantime and you are willing to work with probation to address your issues."

The judge added that Winter has stabilising factors in his life such as employment, accommodation and support.