Devon

Man sentenced over child abuse and bestiality images

Exeter Crown Court Image copyright Derek Harper
Image caption Eric Worthington was given a suspended jail sentence at Exeter Crown Court

A man who admitted having more than 2,300 images of child abuse and bestiality has been sentenced.

Eric Worthington, 58, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme pornography.

The collection of images included 565 of the most serious category, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Worthington was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for two, and given a 60-day treatment programme.

'Grossly offensive'

He was also placed on the sex offenders register and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years, which allows police to monitor his internet usage.

Judge David Evans also ordered Worthington, of Old Exeter Road, Newton Abbot, to complete 140 hours of community service and pay £350 in costs.

Worthington obtained the images, some of which were described in court as "grossly offensive, disgusting and obscene", on the dark web.

They were found on various electronic devices by police when they raided his home last December.

The ages of the children in the images ranged from one to 14, with the majority between two and four, the court heard.

Judge Evans said Worthington had undertaken "deliberate" searches for abuse images for more than five years.

He noted a probation report confirmed "genuine shame and remorse" on Worthington's part.

"It seems you were somewhat socially isolated and are perhaps a good example of the risk of someone spending more of their life online than interacting with people off line," he told him.

"You have some insight into the harm caused by the production of these foul images."

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