A Chichester pensioner found in possession of more than 11,000 indecent images of children as young as two has been given a suspended sentence.
Julian Paul Harris, 63, of Bishopsgate Walk, Chichester, pleaded guilty to all charges, including distributing nine indecent images of children and possessing one extreme pornographic image ‘of a grossly offensive’ nature.
Passing sentence at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday, March 10, Recorder Anne Arnold noted Harris’ immediate confession to police on his arrest but said the offences were ‘serious aggravated’ by the age of the children involved.
She said the court should give ‘some credit’ to 63 years of good character and acknowledged Harris had sought charitable help within days of his arrest to deal with his ten-year addiction.
“Given your past, given your willingness to address your particular problem, and that’s demonstrated very clearly by the steps you’ve taken already, and the remorse that you’ve shown, I propose to impose two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years,” she said.
Prosecutor Mr Foster told the court Harris’ crimes had been discovered in a police search of his house last October.
He said: “He rapidly appreciated why it was that police had come calling early in the morning and told his wife he had child porn on his computer and had had for years, ever since he had discovered it.
“He was taken to Chichester Police Station where he told officers he had for ten years, first on the internet and then on file sharing, claiming he was interested in girls aged eight to 13 but also accepted that the police would see toddlers as well.”
Mr Foster said Harris had also confessed to creating false personas on chat rooms which discussed the sexual abuse of children.
The images and movies found on Harris’ personal computer and two hard-drives will now be destroyed.
Defending, Miss Upton said Harris’ wife and daughter-in-law had written to the court and some of his family and friends, although shocked, were ‘standing by him’ despite his actions.
He will be allowed to visit some of his grandchildren and other child relatives under supervision and parental consent as part of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and be on the Sexual Offenders register indefinitely.
Harris will also be subject to 120 hours’ unpaid work, £340 in costs and 20 days of intensive rehabilitation.
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