A Bedford sex offender was today (Tuesday) banned from having children’s clothing in his home.
Frank Breen, 60, was caught with five pairs of children’s underwear when the police carried out a raid on his home near Bedford town centre.
Luton crown court heard that officers had gone to his home after being tipped off by staff at the EE store in Bedford, who were concerned about what they had seen on a mobile phone he had handed in.
Prosecutor Harry MacDonald said that on 13 December 2019, officers seized a laptop, computer tower and iPad. He said: “On the search of his address, five pairs of children’s underwear for 5 or 6-year-old children were also found.”
When the devices were examined there were 817 stills images at Category A – the most serious level. There were 795 at Category B and more than 2,000 at Category C.
Breen, a driver, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to three charges of downloading indecent images of children and one of possessing indecent images of children. He had 10 convictions for 22 offences.
Michael Hayward, defending, said it had taken 19 months since his arrest for the case to come to court and he had not offended since then. He said he had been disowned by his family and had sought help from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a charity that works against child abuse.
He said Breen had not accessed the Category A material for some time, having been downloaded in 2012 or 2013.
Judge Rebecca Herbert passed a 20-month jail sentence suspended for two years. Breen must attend 12 sessions of a Mental Health Treatment Programme, 35 sessions on the Horizon Sex Offender Programme and a minimum of 20 rehabilitation days.
In addition, he must pay prosecution costs of £340 and register as a Sex Offender for 10 years.
The judge made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which allows the police to check on his internet use and bans him from unsupervised contact with children. She said he is prohibited from having in his possession any item of clothing made for anyone under the age of 16.
She told him: “There is no reason for you to have children’s clothes there.”
Referring to the images the judge said: “These are not victimless offences. These are real children. You are assisting in their exploitation.”