Just three months after being given a community order for downloading indecent images of girls a Leamington man’s offender manager found more similar images on his phone.
But after hearing that Russell Wilkin was about to start a sex offender treatment programme as part of that sentence, a judge at Warwick Crown Court decided to give him another chance rather than jail him.
Wilkin, 34, of High Street, Leamington, who had pleaded guilty to a charge of making indecent images of children.
He was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to register as a sex offender for seven years – with the community order imposed in February to continue.
Prosecutor Stuart Clarkson said that in May the police officer who was Wilkin’s offender manager visited his home and asked to see his phone.
When she checked it she found that Wilkin had been using a particular search engine to search for indecent images of pre-teen girls.
So the phone was seized, and on it were found 68 images classed as being in category C – defined as showing children in naked or indecent poses, but without actual sexual activity.
Wilkin was arrested, and when he was interviewed he admitted he liked looking at images of young girls on his phone.
Mr Clarkson added that at the time Wilkin was subject to a three-year community sentence imposed at the court in February, after he had admitted four charges of making indecent images of children.
As part of that sentence he had been ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, to register as a sex offender for five years and to take part in a sex offender’s treatment programme.
Walter Bealby, defending, pointed out that Wilkin was in fact due to begin that programme ‘next week.’
Sentencing Wilkin, Judge Stephen Eyre QC told him: “In February this year you were given a community order for viewing indecent photographs of children, and in May you engaged in the same conduct.
“But you are fortunate, because the assessment of the probation officer is that you are genuinely trying to address your offending.
“You tried to start the treatment programme early, but were not able to do so.
“So at the time of this offence you had been trying to deal with your tendencies and trying to get on the programme – and it is significant that that programme starts next week.
“I am going to give you another chance, but this is the last chance you get for this type of offending.”