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Ex-RAF man jailed after child porn find

PUBLISHED: 06:54 25 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

A FORMER sergeant in the RAF has escaped jail after he was caught with 4,000 pornographic images of children.

David Davies, 53, who served 25 years in the RAF with an "exemplary" career record, was sentenced to three years community rehabilitation and ordered to sign the sex offenders register following the hearing at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday .

A FORMER sergeant in the RAF has escaped jail after he was caught with 4,000 pornographic images of children.

David Davies, 53, who served 25 years in the RAF with an "exemplary" career record, was sentenced to three years community rehabilitation and ordered to sign the sex offenders register following the hearing at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday .

Three months ago, said Judge John Devaux, Davies would have been sent to prison but a recent Court of Appeal ruling paved the way for more lenient sentencing.

Davies, of Spruce Drive, Brandon, who now works as a self-employed delivery driver, admitted 14 offences of making indecent photographs of children.

He was found out after seeking help to mend his computer from an acquaintance last summer.

As the computer expert was running software to clean the memory, he discovered a number of "unpleasant" images and contacted the police.

A hi-tech crime unit found 2,000 images of young boys stored on Davies' hard drive. Further analysis of his computer revealed a further 2,000 similar pictures that had been deleted.

Davies had also printed off 70 sheets of A4 paper showing lewd images of children. He admitted using pornographic websites and downloading pictures of children, most of which, he claimed he had destroyed. He also subscribed to several of the sites and used search engines to look for pictures of children. There were also 930 emails with some referring to nude pictures of young boys.

Davies had not, however, sold or distributed the pictures or taken any himself.

The majority of the images were judged to be "level one" photographs – mostly "erotic posing" with no sexual contact – with only a few, of a more "serious" nature at level two.

Davies told police he had been interested in such pictures for around two years, starting with adult pornography.

Jonathan Goodman, in mitigation, said Davies' curiosity had been aroused after opening junk mail, received by email, by accident during 2000.

He added: "Mr Davies did not acquire a computer because of his predilection for young children. He acquired one in 1999 out of necessity for his work.

"This saga began as a result of receiving unsolicited emails. There is no evidence at all of an escalation in the nature or gravity of the content."

Davies had co-operated fully with the police and admitted the offences at the earliest opportunity, he added. A psychiatric report had shown no evidence of a predisposition towards "classic paedophilia".

Mr Goodman added: "Mr Davies is contrite. He is, of course, hugely embarrassed by his own activities and recognises he must face up to what he has done and prevent it from happening again."

Judge Devaux said that although Davies' activities were entirely solitary, subscribing to pornographic websites encouraged demand for similar pictures.

He added: "Feasting your eyes on these images is a form of abuse."

He told Davies he was lucky to escape with a community rehabilitation order and that the sentence in no way "made light" of the crime.

Davies was also ordered to join the Thames Valley sex offenders programme and pay £250 costs. He will also forfeit his computer and relevant discs.

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