Royston man caught with child porn “unaware it was illegal”.

PUBLISHED: 17:43 18 October 2010

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Archant

A LORRY driver caught with hundreds of child porn images and a stash of videos showing sex with live animals told police he was unaware it was illegal to have such material, a court heard.

When confronted about his haul of 687 indecent pictures depicting sick sex acts on children, Charles Reed said: “I’m surprised. I have a lot of DVDs but I don’t have any child porn or anything like that.”

The 57-year-old later admitted he would type words “teenage girl porn” into a search engine and spend a couple of hours a day looking at raunchy images online.

He added that he did not have any sexual interest in children and that the youngest person he had seen in a tasteless image was a girl of 18.

“Generally his view was that he didn’t realise these images were indecent,” prosecutor Marti Blair told the court.

Reed will now spend the next three years on a sexual offender treatment programme in the community after he escaped jail for the “abhorrent” crimes.

He is also banned from using a computer unless police can monitor his internet access and is subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which stops him working with kids.

In addition he will have to pay £500 costs while the goods found at his home in Field Crescent, Royston on December 3, 2009 are confiscated and destroyed.

“There are real children, probably in some far out country, who are suffering when these are made,” Judge Anthony Bate said.

“They are only made because there are people who are prepared to look at it.”

Police found a total of 77 tapes depicting sex with creatures such as dogs, horses, monkeys, chickens and fish when they executed a search warrant at Reed’s home last year. Another 58 found showed indecent acts with animals.

Of the hundreds of indecent photos they found, 13 were at level four – the second most serious categorisation of child porn material.

There were 21 images at level three and three pictures at level two but the majority were at level one, the least serious classification.

Despite his failure to realise the gravity of offences at police interview, Reed pleaded guilty at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court in September to eight offences of making indecent photos of a child, one offence of possessing indecent photos of a child and four offences of possessing extreme pornographic material.

Mitigating, Tim Brown said it was “commendable” that Reed’s partner and two children accompanied him to Cambridge Crown Court last week to support him while he sat in the dock.

“The fact of their being here is evidence of what must have been a period of soul searching and discussion as to what these offences are about,” he added.

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