Former Gargrave chef avoids jail for child abuse images

Craven Herald: Bradford Crown Court Bradford Crown Court

A former chef who downloaded hundreds of child abuse images has avoided an immediate prison sentence after a judge decided to suspend his nine-month jail term.

Police raided Sean Morgan’s home in Gargrave just over a year ago and when his computer was analysed hundreds of indecent images of children were found, as well as a small amount of extreme pornography, including bestiality.

The 29-year-old, who described himself in chatrooms as “a head chef at a care home”, told police he had no knowledge of the images, but at a crown court hearing last month he pleaded guilty to possessing more than 700 indecent photographs of children, as well as charges relating to the making of indecent images of youngsters and possessing extreme pornography.

Bradford Crown Court heard on Friday that Morgan, of Swirecroft Road, had lost his job as a result of the offences, but was now working as a kitchen porter.

Barrister Robin Frieze, for Morgan, said his client recognised that the material was repellent and caused harm to children. “He has gone further than many along the road to try to seek help to make sure he doesn’t fall into this kind of activity again,” said Mr Frieze.

The court heard that more than 380 of the images were in the most serious categories of level four and five, but Mr Frieze said it was not a case involving the distribution of material to others.

Mr Frieze said Morgan had not had the courage to admit the offences in his interviews, but he had pleaded guilty at an early stage of the court proceedings. He said Morgan no longer had contact with the people he was associating with on chatrooms.

Judge Robert Bartfield said he had a stark choice between jailing Morgan for nine months without his “addiction” being properly addressed or suspending the term so that he could take part in a sex offender programme. The judge said he was just persuaded to suspend the jail term for two years with a requirement that Morgan took part in the two-year treatment programme.

Morgan will have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next 10 years and must also comply with a sexual offences prevention order for the same length of time.

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