Man jailed for accessing ‘utterly depraved’ material

Gary Hope
Gary Hope
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A man who accessed 
“utterly depraved” material via a mobile phone of children being sexually abused has been jailed.

Lorry driver Gary Hope’s six months sentence will begin once he has set foot back in England after completing another sentence in Northern Ireland for similar offences.

Preston Crown Court heard that the Probation Service thought Hope was a very high risk re-offender and did not begin to understand the enormity of what he had done.

He was also described as “duplicitous and devious”.

Judge Christopher Cornwall told him “You still insist on saying they are just images.

“They are images of real children having sexual offences committed against them. These are crime scenes you have been looking at.

“While people such as you think it appropriate to look at these images, then the utterly corrupt people who make and distribute them will go on making and distributing them, which means children are going to be abused.”

Hope, 55, pleaded guilty to five charges of making 
indecent images and another four of possessing images.

Emma Kehoe, prosecuting, said Hope was arrested at his home in Blackpool in January last year after police received information indicating he might have indecent photographs of children.

His mobile phone was seized and more than 750 
images were found.

Most of them – 693 – were at the lowest level, level one. However there were also 31 classed at level two, 12 at level three and 18 at level four. The children in the images seemed to be between the ages of eight and 14 years.

In police interview, Hope denied being responsible for them. He spoke of having lent his phone to someone.

The court heard indecent images were also found on Hope’s computer in October 2010 after an investigation.

As a result, he was taken to Northern Ireland, following his arrest in Blackpool and in November last year was 
given a four-year extended sentence.

Judge Cornwall said: “Anyone who has such material and takes pleasure in looking at it must, by definition, be utterly depraved.” Hope will be on the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years and subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.