Matthew Harrison has been sent to prison – after persistently downloading indecent images of children.
The 25-year-old continued to access illegal material on his computer even after receiving a suspended prison sentence for similar offences. Police also found images of extreme pornography and prohibited CGI pictures of children on his computer.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Harrison consistently tried to hide the browsing history on his electronic devices, despite being banned from doing so by a previous court order. Now he has been jailed for 30 months after pleading guilty to a total of 21 offences – which put him in breach of his suspended sentence order.
The court heard Harrison received the 15-month suspended sentence in June 2019. He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) which restricted his internet use. But this failed to stop his offending and, five months later, he was fined for a breach of the order.
Prosecutor Jamie Scott said Harrison’s latest set of offences took place between February and August 2020. He said: “There are six charges of making – downloading – indecent images of children on each of three dates.
“He was also in possession of prohibited images of children, relating to sexualised CGI imagery of children. The charges of possessing extreme pornography related to sexual behaviour with animals. “There were also nine breaches of the Sexual Harm Prevention Order, when he made various efforts to frustrate any efforts to monitor his internet use.”
The court heard Harrison was using software that helped him access the ‘Dark Web’, and he also had a private browser that did not record his internet history, which he was not allowed.
Harrison, of Brook Lane, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to six counts of making indecent images of children, three of possessing a prohibited image of a child, and three of possessing an extreme pornographic image. He also admitted nine breaches of his SHPO as well as breaching his suspended sentence.
Debbie Leadbeater, mitigating, said Harrison has been found to have autistic spectrum disorder. She said: “It has meant he would have less maturity than other people his age. He is now reaching an age where his life is likely to be more settled.
“He has been doing courses while he has been remanded in custody and has signed up to do a course on breaking with addiction. He is taking his behaviour more seriously than he was. “He has a great deal of remorse and has more understanding of the offences than he did.”
Judge David Fletcher sentenced Harrison to 16 months in prison and activated 14 months of his previous suspended sentence, making a total term of 30 months.
Judge Fletcher said: “The most serious aggravating factor, by a country mile, is your previous convictions.
“I have huge concerns about you and the persistence with which you carried out, in contravention of the order, this sort of activity.”