Rotherham man avoids jail over child porn charges

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A Rotherham man who had shocking images on his personal computer of girls as young as eight being raped has avoided a prison sentence.

Benjamin Murray, aged 29, of Saville Road, Whiston, tried to conceal what he was viewing by using a Internet privacy tool, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Computer programmer Murray pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of indecent photographs of children.

James Gould, prosecuting, said Murray’s home was raided and the images were found when officers searched his computer.

He said: “A warrant was executed at Murray’s home after police received the intelligence.

“A computer tower was seized which included images of children as young as eight involved in sex.

“Analysis on the computer tower found that Tor software was being used to conceal what he was viewing from his Internet browser.”

Tor is a Internet privacy tool designed to stop people – including government agencies and corporations – learning your location or tracking your browsing habits.

Dermot Hughes, defending, said: “This is somebody who recognises and accepts this is wrong and is very willing to accept the help that is will be available to him.

Judge Simon Lawler QC told Murray: “In many ways this is a classic case where movement from viewing adult pornography goes to teenage girls and then much younger children which in turn gave you some gratification.

“It’s brought with it shame and embarrassment and that now has been made public.

“In many cases this court will send the perpetrators to custody but you have been honest throughout and it’s clear that you are thoroughly ashamed of your behaviour.

“You are an intelligent man with no previous convictions and you are of good employment – it’s not in my interest to send you to prison.”

Murray was given a three year community order, supervised for three years.