King’s Lynn man who admitted having abuse guide escapes jail term
A Lynn man who admitted possessing a manual containing advice and guidance about sexually abusing children has avoided jail.
Kirk Pears, 38, of Diamond Street, was sentenced yesterday after previously pleading guilty to one count of making indecent images of children and one count of possession of a paedophile manual.
Police chiefs said they hope the sentencing sends a “strong message” to offenders.
In November of last year, police received information about the download of thousands of indecent images of children at an address in the town.
Enquiries led officers to raid Pear’s home address where they seized a number of electrical devices, including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and external hard drives.
Specialist officers examined the items belonging to Pears, which were found to contain 13,852 indecent images and a manual which contained advice and guidance about abusing children sexually.
The lead officer in the case, Det Con Nicky Gaughan said: “This was a particularly awful investigation with specialist officers viewing images which were some of the worst they’ve ever seen.
“A child is victimised not only when they are abused and an image is taken, but every time that image is viewed by someone.
“We hope such a case sends a strong message out to offenders that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images. They leave a digital footprint and we will find it.”
A spokesman for NSPCC said the offences had “helped fuel an abhorrent trade”.
Pears was sentenced to a 10 month jail term, suspended for two years, for one count of making indecent images, and a 12 month jail term, suspended for two years, for one count of possession of a paedophile manual at Norwich Crown Court.
He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for 10 years.
Norfolk Constabulary set up the Safeguarding Children Online Team (SCOLT) in 2014 in a bid to investigate online grooming and possession and distribution of illegal images.
The team aim to identify victims who are being or have been abused and work with agencies to put safeguarding measures in place.
The SCOLT executes its own warrants generated from intelligence, including referrals from Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) – part of the National Crime Agency (NCA) – information from other forces and members of the public.
For more information of the SCOLT, visit Norfolk Constabulary’s website at www.norfolk.police.uk.
The NSPCC spokesman said: “By viewing and making this material Pears has helped fuel an abhorrent trade in which defenceless children suffer sickening abuse.
“Not only did he possess a staggering amount of indecent images, he was also researching how to abuse more children. Treatment to lessen the risk he poses in the future is vital.
“Indecent images of children are far too easy to share which is why tech companies, government and law enforcement agencies must do more to eradicate this growing issue at its source.”
Adults concerned about indecent images or the wellbeing of a child can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.
Children can contact Childline with any concerns on 0808 1111.