Porn addict gets community payback for child abuse images

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A self-confessed ‘porn addict’ who downloaded child abuse images and distributed them to others has avoided a jail term.

Damien Bancroft committed the offences between 2011 and last year, but claimed he did not know why his interest in porn had escalated to include the child images.

Depute Fiscal Trina Sinclair told Forfar Sheriff Court that police officers, acting on information, found more than 600 still images and 16 videos on two laptops and also on a mobile phone.

Of these, 38 still images were in the most serious categories, 40 were in category B while the majority, 562, were in category C.

Of the 16 videos, 11 were in Category A, three were in Category B and two Category C.

She said Bancroft admitted to police that he was a porn addict, having started watching porn at the age of 19.

He accepted that he had downloaded and shared images with others but could not explain why that included indecent images of children.

Bancroft, 36, of Lintmill Cottages in Forfar, pleaded guilty on indictment that between May 14, 2011 and October 20, 2015, at 33 Scott Street, Dundee and 2 Lintmill Cottages, Forfar, he took or made indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children.

He further admitted that on the same dates and places distributed indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children.

Defence solicitor Brian Bell said: “He knows this is a serious matter and he has taken action to seek immediate assistance.

“He has issues he needs to address.”

Sheriff Gregor Murray imposed a three year community payback order with supervision, 225 hours unpaid work, a requirement to take part in a sex offender groupwork programme and restrictions on his internet use.

He said: “The bottom line here is that the distribution element is a serious aggravation.

“The consequences are obvious.

“However, the number of images was relatively low.”