A County Durham security guard who shared a child abuse image with another pedophile on WhatsApp has avoided jail.
Brian Anderson was found in possession of more than 270 sickening indecent images – which he had accumulated over a period of four years – when police attended his home in Stanley. The 61-year-old had also distributed an indecent C-grade picture via WhatsApp message to another like-minded pervert on May 16, 2020.
Anderson, of Teesdale Terrace, Stanley, appeared at Durham Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced on three counts of making indecent images and one count of distributing an indecent image. He pleaded guilty to the charges at a previous hearing.
Read more: Valentine’s Day ‘crazy’ left partner with brain injury and ‘perfect’ slipper sole printed on head
Chris Morrison, prosecuting, said police attended Anderson’s home after receiving reports of indecent material. His address was searched and several electronic devices, including a laptop and a cell phone, were seized and analyzed. He said: “The distribution offense which was traced showed the defendant engaging in salacious conversations with a like-minded person via WhatsApp message. Both men explained how much they liked young people men of a certain age.”
Mr Morrison added that Anderson ‘fully admitted his activity’ and said he was ‘going to a gay website where there was child pornography fully available’. The court was told that 30 images had been found on his mobile phone and that Anderson, who is a father and married, already had good character. By way of mitigation, the court heard Anderson was “regretted” of the offenses and “takes full responsibility.”
Sentencing Anderson, Recorder Thomas Moran, said he would get full credit for his guilty plea. He said: “Your house was raided nearly two years ago and you made no attempt to downplay the seriousness. You are married, but your wife sticks together and you have adult children.” He added that Anderson works as a security guard and his mental health is currently stable.
Anderson was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years and required to complete 100 hours of unpaid work. He also received a 24-month community order and will have to do 30 days of rehabilitation activities. He will be on the sex offender register for seven years and a seven-year prevention of sexual abuse order has also been issued.