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Ryan Brenchley, of Merleburgh Drive, Sittingbourne, admits possessing extreme pornography

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

A former taxi driver who downloaded and distributed child sex abuse images has walked free from court.

A judge said he was compelled to suspend 12-months imprisonment on Ryan Brenchley because an experienced probation officer indicated intervention, including courses, would reduce the risk of future offending.

Brenchley, of Merleburgh Drive, Sittingbourne, admitted possessing the images and distributing some of them.

Prosecutor Paul Valder said when police officers went to the 30-year-old cabbie’s home on May 23 last year, he admitted they would find the material on his laptop computer.

There were 45 images at the highest level of five, 186 and level four, 355 at level three, 72 and level two and 243 at level one.

Mr Valder told Maidstone Crown Court they included movie clips, including extreme content, and other prohibited images.

Chat logs showed Brenchley had been in contact with “like-minded individuals” with whom he exchanged passwords so some of the images could be accessed.

Judge Philip St John-Stevens
Judge Philip St John-Stevens

“When interviewed, the defendant was frank,” said Mr Valder.

“He admitted searching for and downloading material. He said he went to search for music and realised the sort of stuff that was out there.

“He said he preferred movie clips. His preference was for boys aged 10-14.

The chat found on the computer indicated he was abusing his son. He said it was simply fantasy. He doesn’t have a son.

“It was a way of encouraging the person at the other end. He accepted distributing indecent images to others.”

Judge Philip St John-Stevens said Brenchley had demonstrated he had real contrition and regret.

“It has had a profound effect on your life,” he said. “In a way it was a relief you had been caught.”

The judge added that if he sent Brenchley to prison it would not be long enough to allow treatment and the public would be exposed to a future risk.

Part of the sentence, suspended for 18 months with supervision, would include alcohol treatment. He will be barred from working with children.

Tom Stern, defending, said it was not prolific and extensive distribution. Brenchley grew up in Sittingbourne and bought his home. He had been with his partner for four years.

“As a result of this he is no longer working as a taxi driver,” said Mr Stern.

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