A PAEDOPHILE who downloaded hundreds of indecent images of young children has been spared a prison sentence.
Scott Burgin (51) said he had not asked for the images, which were sent to him in an online chat room two years ago, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Mr Andrew Bailey, prosecuting, said police had raided Burgin’s home on Meadow Close, Dalton, in April 2019 and seized any devices capable of accessing the internet.
He was arrested and taken into custody where he accepted owning the devices but denied ever searching for indecent images of children.
Burgin told officers he had seen one of the images in a pop-up while other images had been sent to him by someone in a chat room and he had not asked for them, Mr Bailey said.
He said he had tried to get rid of the images.
Police analysed his devices and found more than 300 indecent photographs of children, including 68 still and three moving category A images — the worst kind of indecent image.
One of the photographs showed a girl aged between seven and nine, Mr Bailey said.
Officers found software on one of his devices designed to delete files permanently which the prosecution said Burgin had used to hide evidence.
Burgin initially denied three counts of possession of indecent images of children and had been due to stand trial in June, but he changed his plea.
Mitigating, Mr Clarkson Baptiste said Burgin had written a letter to the judge which demonstrated his remorse and a willingness to learn.
He said Burgin had shown an awareness of those who had been affected by his crimes.
Mr Baptiste said Burgin had deeply regretted not rebuffing those who had got him involved in indecent images.
Judge Graham Reeds sentenced Burgin to ten months in prison, suspended for two years.
“In your case there is a realistic chance of rehabilitation and therefore I can suspend this sentence,” he said.
Judge Reeds gave him a ten year sexual harm prevention order and put him on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.