Bedford man narrowly avoids prison sentence over possession of child pornography

Image: Thomas Nugent/Luton Crown Court

A Bedford man who over six years amassed a sickening collection of child sex abuse images a well as extreme pornographic images has narrowly avoided being sent to prison.

Instead, 45-year-old Gary Scott was given a suspended sentence.

Scott from Bedford appeared at Luton crown court for sentence after pleading guilty to three offences of making indecent images of children and one charge of possessing extreme pornographic images.

The court heard it was on 11 June 2019 when police went to his home armed with information that he might be in possession of the images.

Prosecutor Douglas Page said their suspicions proved correct and a forensic examination of a device at his home revealed a sickening stash of still and moving images of youngsters, some as young as five or six, being abused.

Judge Steven Evans was told that some of the material found was classed as Category A, which is the most serious level.

The court was told Scott had been viewing the material between 2013 and 2019 and he had a long-standing drug habit.

Passing sentence the judge told Scott: “You will receive a custodial sentence because you accessed images of very young children being sexually assaulted and abused over six years.”

The judge said Scott had found the images on the “dark web” and he said it was because of men like him, who got sexual gratification from viewing such abusive images, that a “market” for such material was created.

It meant, said the judge, that providers of images took children away from their families to sexually assault, rape and abuse them so that images could then be put on the internet.

The judge said as a result the youngster grew up knowing such images of them being abused were on the internet.

“These children are damaged for the rest of their lives because of men like you who want to sit in front of a computer screen enjoying it.”

Scott was given a 12-month prison sentence which was suspended for two years.

He was ordered to carry out a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and he will also be subject to a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement.

In addition, his name will go on the sex offenders register for the next 10 years and he will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the same amount of time.

That last order means that police can inspect at any time and without warning, any computer in Scott’s possession and examine what he has been looking at online.

Update: This article was updated at 5:58 pm on 03 August 2021 to correct an error where the court reporter had inadvertently inserted the prosecutor’s name in one paragrpah. We have corrected it with the defendant’s name.

Now more than ever, we need your help to fund the Bedford Independent’s quality journalism that serves our community...

We choose to champion editorial independence, meaning we report the facts without bias and can stand up to those in power when we believe it’s needed.

We can give a voice to people in our community whose voices may otherwise not be heard. And we don’t have a paywall, so everyone can read the stories we publish for free.

But in this time of crisis, many news organisations all over the world are facing existential threat, with advertising revenues plummeting. We’re no different.

We work hard every day to bring you news, commentary, entertainment and announcements from across Bedford. We hope that, with your help, we’ll be able to continue this for many years to come.

Will you help sustain our work today by clicking below ? Even a small donation makes a difference for our future.

Thank you for your support.