Published: 07:54, 06 January 2009
A father who downloaded hundreds of child sex abuse images has been sentenced to a jail term that will enable him to be at the birth of his second child.
Neil Porter was told by a judge he was exercising mercy by imposing six months. He will serve three months. The baby is due in April.
The 39-year-old plumber, of Heath Road, Linton, admitted 15 charges of making indecent photographs of children, dating back to 2002.
Maidstone Crown Court heard police went to Porter’s home in September 2006 during an investigation into sexual grooming.
Martin Yale, prosecuting, said computer equipment was later seized and it was revealed that Porter had searched on the internet for “Lolitas” and “junior boys”.
Almost 2,000 images of child abuse ranging from levels one to four, the highest being five, were found.
Porter, who was involved with the Scouts movement, at first claimed he did not know how the photographs came to be on his computer and denied being interested in any form of pornography.
Timothy Walker, defending, said Porter, who has a four-year-old daughter, had deep roots in the community and it had been difficult for him to admit to himself he had looked at such material.
“He has accepted he has issues that need addressing,” he said. “He will be seeking counselling when he is released.
“It is clear these were abhorrent images. The majority had been deleted. His wife has written a moving reference. He will have to do some soul-searching.”
Deputy Judge Crawford Lindsay, QC, said by looking at the images Porter had perpetuated the abuse of young and vulnerable children.
“It is true you have obviously become addicted to this form of pornography,” he said. “It is a tragic case as you have a good character.”
But he added: “I will take an exceptional course. Your supportive wife is expecting a baby. You wish to be present at the birth. I will exercise mercy.”
Porter was banned from working with children and will remain on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.