16 YEARS TO COLLECT KIDDIE PORN

Devon loner spent 16 years collecting 120,000 child abuse images

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: October 25, 2014
Devon loner spent 16 years collecting 120,000 child abuse images

Devon loner spent 16 years collecting 120,000 child abuse images

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A loner who spent 16 years seeking out child abuse websites was caught with more than 120,000 downloaded images on his computer.
Gareth Bennett suffers from Asperger Syndrome and has spent his entire adult life at home surfing the internet for pictures and films of boys and girls as young as five.
His collection was so huge he had bought extra hard drives to hold all the files he downloaded between 1997 and 2013, when police raided his home in Exeter.
He had 15,386 still images and 178 movies showing the worst sort of abuse, involving child rape or sadism, Exeter Crown Court was told.

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Bennett, aged 33, has been surfing for abuse images since he was 16 and search words found on his computers showed he had sought out the worst kind of material.
The shock of being caught has been so great that he has been struck dumb and has been unable to speak for the past 12 months because of a condition called elective mutism.
He suffers from a form of Asperger’s which has only been diagnosed since his arrest and which makes it almost impossible for him to inter-react with other people normally.
Bennett, of Gloucester Road, Exeter, admitted 24 offences of making or possessing indecent images and was jailed for 15 months, suspended for two years and ordered to attend a one to one sexual offender’s treatment programme as part of two years supervision.
He was also made subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which will allow police to monitor his internet use and was ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.
Judge Graham Cottle decided not to jail him after reading reports from a psychiatrist and a psychologist and being told that Bennett’s condition means he could not attend a sex offenders’ treatment programme in prison.
He told him:”In different circumstances the court would feel constrained to send you to prison for a significant period of time. However, this situation could not be described as anywhere near normal.
“You are a disadvantaged man. That is clear from the reports I have read. If you were in a custodial setting you would not be able to access treatment programmes and would come out as an untreated sex offender and that is not in anyone’s interests.
“The more constructive course is to provide you with the treatment you clearly require to address your sexual offending on a one to one basis with an experienced probation officer.”
Mr David Bowen, prosecuting, said Bennett’s home was raided in June last year and police later found a huge number of images and movies on his computers and other equipment.
He had 15,386 images and 178 movies at category A, the most serious; 23,795 images and 95 movies at B; and 81,802 images and 30 movies at C as well as 192 cartoons showing abuse.
Mr Bowen said:”The children were of both sexes and as young as five and at least one of the images showed a child who was displaying distress.
“Police seized a great deal of equipment and any device he had which was capable of storing images or films was full and he had extra hard drives to soak up more and more images.
“He made full admissions and said he had spent most of his time on the internet since the late 1990s and had started using peer to peer sites and networks.
“There was no indication he tried to communicate with children directly but he communicated with like minded adults. Search terms in his computer history showed he had been looking for Category A images and movies.”
Miss Emily Cook, defending, said Bennett had downloaded the material at a time when his Asperger Syndrome had not been diagnosed and he was leading a lonely and isolated life.
She said:”He has no previous convictions and has expressed his guilt and remorse throughout. He has a mental disorder and learning disability which were linked to his commission of these offences.
“He has become an elective mute. It is clear from the reports this is not his choice. It is something which has just happened in his life, possibly in the light of these stressful proceedings.
“These offences took place in the context of him having undiagnosed Asperger Syndrome which led to him suffering terribly at school and having very little social interaction since. His whole life has been based around the internet

Read more: http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/Devon-loner-spent-16-years-collecting-120-000/story-23500665-detail/story.html#ixzz3I8A4shwK
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