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Chatham gas fitter Lee Phillips jailed for two years for downloading child abuse movies

By Medway Messenger reporter

A pervert who downloaded child abuse movies, some up to half an hour in length, has been jailed for two years.

Children as young as four were filmed in some of the clips, which were available for other internet users to access, a court heard.

Lee Phillips, of Valerian Close, Chatham, has been jailed for two years
Lee Phillips, of Valerian Close, Chatham, has been jailed for two years

But although a judge accepted that gas fitter Lee Phillips had “learned a lesson to a very substantial degree”, he said he had to pass a sentence that acted as a deterrent.

Judge Jeremy Carey said: “I accept that in the cold light of day you are now aware of how this criminal industry affects children who are innocent and have no real understanding of what is going on and are corrupted or abused for the whole of their lives.

“When this message will get home to people like you, sitting at home in their bedrooms and looking at it night after night in the belief it is entertaining, I do not know.”

Phillips, 48, of Valerian Close, Chatham, admitted five offences of possessing indecent images of children between May 2008 and August 2013, four offences of distributing indecent images between July and August 2013, one of making indecent images between September 2009 and August 2013, and one of possessing extreme pornography in August 2013.

The court heard this related to sex acts between an adult and dogs.

A total of 64 child abuse images were found on two laptops, the majority of which were movies.

Prosecutor Ruth Zentler-Munro said: “He said he would never act on his interests, describing them as fantasies.”

Phillips downloaded the images from a free file-sharing website and the default settings on his computer meant other users around the world would be able to access any of his images.

An officer from Kent Police child exploitation team told Maidstone Crown Court Phillips had the option to turn off the file sharing, but there was no evidence he had resorted to “deliberate” sharing.

James Ross, defending, said Phillips became withdrawn after the break-up of his relationship and moved in with his mother and stepfather.

On release Phillips will have to sign on the sex offender register, be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for 10 years and barred from working with children.

DC Karl Brett of the Kent Police's child exploitation investigation team said: "Phillips told us in interview he had no intention of ever acting on his fantasies but what he and others who download this material need to realise is that they are perpetrating a cycle of real-life abuse."

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