A COVENTRY man claimed he downloaded indecent images of children out of ‘curiosity’ – to see whether images he had been convicted of downloading six years ago were still available.
But despite his earlier conviction and the very young ages of some of the children in the images, Robert Swain escaped being jailed at Warwick Crown Court.
Swain (33) of Sedgemore Road, Coventry, was sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for two years after pleading guilty to three offences of making indecent images of children.
He was also made subject to supervision for two years and ordered to take part in an accredited programme for 100 days and to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Prosecutor Lal Amarasinghe said in August last year police officers went to Swain’s home at 6am with a search warrant.
They forced entry and arrested Swain, who made no reply when he was cautioned.
The officers then searched the address and seized a hard drive, a computer tower and a laptop.
When Swain was interviewed he admitted he had downloaded a program to enable him to download indecent images of children from a website.
He claimed he had done so to see whether images were still available following his conviction in 2010 for downloading a total of 208 indecent images of children.
Swain said he had then decided to uninstall the program without looking at the images, and had not searched for them on any other occasion.
And Mr Amarasinghe pointed out that the images recovered by police experts had in fact been deleted.
He said the images involved both boys and girls, some of whom were as young as six or seven.
When Swain was then interviewed again, he admitted being responsible for the images and agreed he knew he should not have had them, whether deleted or not.