Man caught with indecent images on laptop avoids jail
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A man caught with indecent images at his home after police executed a search warrant has been handed a suspended sentence.
Officers raided the home of Ernani Robaldo-Sibona in Trafalgar Road, Colchester, in February 2019 after IP address information was given to police.
A laptop was seized and after further analysis, four still images of the most serious kind - category A - were discovered along with nine Category B images, five of which were movies, and 30 still category C images.
Nicola May, prosecuting, said the ages of the children in the images and movies ranged from four to 16 years old, but the majority were of pre pubescent girls.
One of the category B images was the only one to have a creation date of November 13, 2018, Miss May said.
Robaldo-Sibona, 49, admitted to police that the laptop belonged to him, and no-one else would have had access to it.
Miss May told the court that Tor software, designed to delete browsing history, was also found on the laptop along with another piece of software used to delete data.
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A Zoom chat log was also recovered from the laptop, which showed Robaldo-Sibona's online correspondence with another man in which child abuse was discussed.
The man also shared his screen with Robaldo-Sibona during the Zoom chat, and it appeared the pair were viewing indecent material, the court heard.
Robaldo-Sibona, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the three charges on March 3, 2020.
Stephen Page, mitigating, said his client was "ashamed and embarrassed" by his actions.
Mr Page said Robaldo-Sibona had an addiction and "went even further" in viewing indecent images of children.
He added that his client had sought help and advice from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation since the incident.
Sentencing Robaldo-Sibona at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday, Recorder Heather Rogers said: "Only custody is the appropriate sentence in this case."
But Recorder Rogers decided against immediate custody, handing Robaldo-Sibona a total of 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
He must also complete up to 40 rehabilitation activity days, as well as 120 hours of unpaid work.
Robaldo-Sibona must also sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years, and was made subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.