5th Dec, 2016

Coventry man jailed for downloading 'quite grotesque' images of children

Coventry Editorial 21st Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A MAN who downloaded ‘quite grotesque’ images of kids being sexually abused has been jailed after a judge heard he had a previous conviction for indecent assaults on children.

Tristan Hadland had also been arrested once before after indecent images were found on his computer – but he escaped prosecution on that occasion.

Hadland (38) of Eastern Green Road, Coventry, was jailed for 16 months and ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years after pleading guilty to four charges of making indecent images of children.

Simon Hunka, prosecuting at Warwick Crown Court, said the police went to Hadland’s home in June last year after receiving information he had been downloading indecent images.

His laptop computer, i-Pad and two phones were seized, and on them officers found a total of 1,082 indecent images of children – some as young as 15-months old.

Others, including both boys and girls, were about nine years old, although the majority were in their early teens.

And search terms Hadland had used showed a clear intent to find images of young children involved in sexual activity.

When he was interviewed he claimed he had come across images on his laptop of children aged from 12 to 16 on a naturist website, and denied there were any images on his i-Pad or phones.

He was interviewed again after images were found on all four devices, and accepted responsibility for them, adding that he looked at children aged 8-16, but may have come across younger ones.

Mr Hunka added that in 1997, when he was 20, Hadland had been convicted of indecently assaulting a five-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy, for which he had been jailed for 12 months.

He had also been arrested in 2012 over allegations of having indecent images, but was not charged after he had said that other people had access to his computer.

Gerry Quirke, defending, said: “He is a rather sad man, a very solitary person. He works nights and doesn’t have much in the way of company and friends.

“He would come home and go onto his computer, and he’s fallen into this weakness of looking at these images. He started looking at naturist websites and then looking at naked children.

“He is extremely remorseful and has taken steps to address his behaviour. The probation officer says he is capable of rehabilitation.”

But Judge Sylvia de Bertodano observed: “The sort of images you have been accessing are really quite grotesque.

“They are real children being abused. You are looking at pictures of people committing very, very serious criminal offences against children.

“Sitting at your computer you may feel distant from those children, but you are contributing to the abuse by looking at those images.

“I recognise that was a long time ago, but you were an adult involved in serious contact offences with young children. That must have an effect on the sentence I pass today. I cannot possibly suspend it in the light of the previous conviction.”