‘Act of mercy’ as man is handed suspended sentence for indecent images charge

A pensioner who downloaded thousands of indecent images of children on to his computer was given a suspended jail sentence at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday.

David Crayden was arrested after police raided his flat next to a children’s nursery in Kilnwell Road, Market Rasen and seized computer equipment.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said Crayden was out when the raid began and officers forced entry to get inside.

Investigations carried out on Crayden’s computer revealed dozens of indecent pictures of children, videos as well as thousands of pornographic images showing girls as young as three years old being abused.

Crayden, who at the time had recently moved to the area from Kent, told police he downloaded the images from file sharing sites.

“He said he was curious about what was out there and talked about downloading becoming a habit.

“He said he had been looking at indecent images of children for two years. He justified what he had done by the fact that he was not the person who made them. He wasn’t the photographer. He said he never paid for any of them.”

Crayden, 68, who now lives at The Cloisters, Welton, pleaded guilty to four charges of possession of a total of 5,578 pornographic images of children on January 12 this year. He also admitted eight charges of making an indecent image of a child and two charges of possession of extreme pornography.

Michael Cranmer-Brown, defending, said Crayden had never been in trouble before and he had assisted the police by giving them the passwords for his computer.

“It is plain that he lacks insight into the harm that this does. He didn’t appreciate how serious his offending was.”

Crayden was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years with supervision. He was ordered to attend a sex offender rehabilitation course and placed on the sex offenders’ register

Judge Sean Morris told him: “The reason I am suspending this prison sentence is because of your age. It is an act of mercy.

“These sorts of offences are not victimless. Every image has a victim. There were a large number of images. This is a serious offence.”