Rothwell’s ‘depraved’ pedophile searched the dark web for sadistic images of babies as he studied for qualifications to work with children
Andrew Smith has been jailed for three years after a court heard how he continued to access sickening footage from his home in Leeds despite two arrests and warnings about his behavior as he awaited sentencing.
Leeds Crown Court heard Smith sent illegal images of children to a pedophile in the Philippines.
The 36-year-old also engaged in online conversations with other offenders describing how he would gain qualifications to work with children.
Jeremy Barton, prosecuting, said officers first attended Smith’s home in May 2019 after receiving reports that three Tumblr accounts linked to the defendant had been used to access illegal images of him. children.
Pending the results of an account investigation, police have received further information about illegal activity on a social media account linked to Smith.
Officers returned to his home in June 2020 and seized electronic devices.
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An investigation revealed that he had accessed illegal images of children.
He had also done research on the Internet, including: “I am attracted to children”.
It was proof that he had accessed the dark web and engaged in online conversations with other pedophiles since 2011.
Smith was questioned and agreed that the devices were his and that he was responsible for the recovered footage, but declined to comment further.
Smith was placed on the sex offender on October 8 last year and ordered to meet a number of requirements pending sentencing.
On October 24, two public protection officers came to his home to check that he was complying with orders.
Smith was asked to hand over his cell phone.
The device contained images of very young children in a state of undress.
Smith then informed officers of another mobile device in his room and gave them the password for it.
The device contained more than 1,500 illegal images.
A total of 175 still and moving images fell into Category A – the most serious level of infringement.
They included sadistic images of babies in distress.
There was also evidence that he had sent images to someone in the Philippines.
Smith, of Stone Brig Green, Rothwell, pleaded guilty to nine counts of making indecent images of children, possessing a prohibited image of a child, possessing prohibited images, possessing a an extreme pronographic image and distribution of indecent images of children.
Graham Parkin, mitigating, said Smith’s delinquency developed as a result of bullying and isolation since he was 13.
He said: “He had a long-term addiction to these kinds of images. It became an obsession.”
Mr Parkin said Smith had tried to access assistance to remedy his breaches during the pandemic, but it could only be done remotely and he was unable to access a individual help.
At sentencing, Judge Robin Mairs told Smith that the images he uploaded were “most serious and damaging”.
He said: “You had conversations with other pedophiles. You used the dark web to search for material.
“There was no contact with children but you admitted you were studying to qualify to work with children
“The reasonable apprehension must be that you take steps to turn viewing offenses into true contact offences.”
Describing the footage viewed by Smith, Judge Mairs said: “It is clear from some of the footage that the children were in distress.
“Their fear and pain are evident.
“These are not victimless crimes.
“Behind these images, there are real children.
“Real children who suffer abuse, who suffer, and the reason it happens is to satisfy the depraved demands of people like you.”