University student Benjamin Porter tried to kill himself twice after downloading sick child images
Canterbury Crown Court,
where Porter was sentenced
A Canterbury university student tried to kill himself twice
– after being arrested for downloading sick sex images of
Benjamin Porter, 24, used the internet to access nine-and-a-half
hours of vile movies – as well as more than 800 images including
the worst level 5.
But despite typing in “PTHC”, which stands for ‘pre-teen hard
core’ and “Lolita”, the English student claimed he had no sexual
interest in young children.
Porter, of Merchant Way, Canterbury, claimed he had been testing
himself to discover if he had paedophile tendencies.
Prosecutor Jim Harvey told Canterbury Crown Court how Essex
Police had tracked Porter’s on-line activities and alerted officers
Police from the Child Exploitation Unit raided Porter’s home
which was then in Shalmsford Street, Canterbury in March last year
and he immediately admitted he was responsible for the illegal
Porter said that for three years he had been “actively search
for and finding” child abuse images using file sharing programmes –
and downloading images of children aged between four to 18
Mr Harvey added: “He told officers that he did not believe that
he was sexually attracted to children.
"He has already suffered punishment and has made two genuine attempts on his life... They were not cries for help" – Kerry Waitt, defending
"He also said that he
had put erotic images onto a memory card in an effort to wean
himself off the more hardcore and really dark images.”
Kerry Waitt, defending, said a senior psychiatrist believed
Porter’s offending was the product of his depression and low
“He has already suffered punishment and has made two genuine
attempts on his life, initially following his arrest and soon after
he was charged. They were not cries for help.
“That shows just how ashamed he felt.
"He also suffered humiliation and embarrassment when his
flatmate found out about the criminal proceedings and he had to
"He was then dismissed from his employment and suspended from
his university placement.”
Judge Heather Norton gave Porter, who admitted eight offences of
downloading illegal images, a 12-month jail sentence suspended for
She told him: “You say you looked at this material to help
alleviate feelings of stress but there is also an indication that
you looked at these images because you wanted to – and was actively
seeking them out.
“From your own lips you have admitted that you were concerned
that you might be a paedophile and you might have a sexual interest
in children and so you were testing yourself out by looking at this
kind of material.
“The fact you have also said you have a genuine fear that you
might hurt someone causes me a great deal of concern in handling
any future risk (you may pose).”
Porter was told he had to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for
10 years, given a Sex Offences Prevention Order and told he can’t
work with children.
He will also be supervised by probation officers for the next 15
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