Accused claimed he did not ‘differentiate’ between indecent images featuring adults or children

A MAN who admitted to becoming ‘addicted’ to viewing pornography searched for indecent images of children, a court has heard.

Kane Ennis used the so-called ‘dark web’ to access the footage, but told police he did not differentiate between adult pornography and illicit material depicting the sexual abuse of children.

Durham Crown Court heard police attended his home on August 4, 2020 on suspicion of accessing indecent images of children on the internet.

Jonathan Gittins, prosecuting, said officers removed a computer device, which Ennis said did not initially belong to him, but later said he had only done so “out of curiosity” and did not hadn’t looked at the pictures for some time.

Examination of the computer revealed the presence of a number of offending images, some of which were accessible, but others which were inaccessible.

In total, police found 54 images of indecent children, 11 in the most serious category, including eight videos.

There were also five images containing what is described as “extreme pornography”, featuring scenes of bestiality, and 76 prohibited images of children, in the form of drawings or computer generated images.

Mr Gittins said the earliest date they were uploaded was October 2018 and there was an indication of several internet searches for this material, based on the terms used.

During his interview, Ennis claimed that he only downloaded the offending images twice, but acknowledged that he knew it was illegal to do so and said he would delete them from the device in a short time.

Mr Gittins said Ennis had admitted to using the ‘dark web’, becoming addicted to pornography, and added that he ‘didn’t differentiate’ between material featuring adults and children.

The defendant, of Wylam Street, Craghead, near Stanley, admitted three counts relating to uploading images of children in the background, one on prohibited images and another charge covering extreme pornographic material.

He appeared in Crown Court to be sentenced today (Friday April 8), on his 30th birthday.

Read more: Teenager covered up indecent images of children, hiding some in music app

Recorder Ben Nolan told defendant attorney Bryan Mark that he had read a probation service background report on Ennis and was impressed that he had pleaded guilty to first opportunity in court and that he had no previous convictions.

He told Mr Mark that the case “has crossed the threshold of custody”, due to the young ages of some of the children presented as having been seriously sexually abused.

But, given his early pleas and previous good character, he said he could suspend the ten-month prison sentence for two years, during which Ennis must complete 40 days of rehabilitation work with the service of probation.

The defendant will also face future restrictions on internet use under the Sexual Abuse Prevention Order, while he must register as a sex offender, both for ten years.

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