Northam man who searched for child pornography sent on treatment course

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A Northam man who searched the internet for violent child rape images has been sent on a sex offenders’ treatment course. 

Lucas Pearce was traced to his parents’ home in North Devon through their IP address after he downloaded images to his mobile. 

Police seized two handsets from under his bed and used specialist software to recover images which he had deleted, Exeter Crown Court was told. 

Experts also found search terms which showed he had sought out images of violent sexual assaults against children, including imagery showing rapes. 

Pearce, aged 23, of Northam, admitted making (by downloading) indecent images of children and was jailed for six months, suspended for two years by Judge David Evans. 

He was ordered to attend a 43 session sex offenders’ treatment programme and 55 days of rehabilitation activities, do 70 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 costs. 

He was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order which will enable the police to monitor his phones and computers for seven years and put on the sex offenders’ register for the same period. 

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The judge told him: “It is clear from the search terms you used that you had been looking for under age imagery and you had an interest in rape related pornography. That is a particular concern. 

“There was deliberate searching for category A images, some involving violence. You have a deal of mitigation. You are still relatively young. I can see you are ashamed and remorseful. You have no previous convictions and it may be you were immature for your age.” 

Miss Mary McCarthy, prosecuting, said police raided the family home on April 2 last year after being alerted to activity from its IP address. 

His two phones were sent for analysis and three category A images, which are the worst sort, were found. There was one movie and 33 images in lesser categories. 

Mr Richard Crabb, defending, said Pearce is remorseful and has been assessed as a good prospect for rehabilitation by the probation service.

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