A TIP-OFF from the German authorities led to North Yorkshire Police raiding a Scarborough guest house and recovering child pornography and other similar illegal material.
The material was found on the computer of the B&B owner’s son and included more than 9,000 images and video clips, including one item classed by the police as being an “extreme pornographic image”.
Before York Crown Court for sentencing on 12 previously admitted charges was Gavin Lee Baker, 35.
Helen Wheatley, prosecuting, told how amongst the material, which covered all categories of seriousness, were images of children and adults on which Baker had super-imposed the head of his girlfriend.
The court heard that the age of the children depicted in the photographs and video clips was between seven and 14 years.
Unemployed Baker, who is registered as a computer software developer, had previously admitted 11 offences of possessing pornographic images of children and one of possessing the “extreme” item.
The court heard that since his arrest Baker had continued downloading and viewing pornography, albeit legal adult material, leading the probation officer preparing a pre-sentence report to question whether or not a sentence for public protection was needed.
During police interviews Baker said that the pornographic material was a “form of escape from being me”.
Taryn Turner, mitigating, said her client was being supported by his family and his girlfriend, although his parents had been forced to look into relocating their business to another seaside town as a result of their son being charged and the resultant publicity.
She added that her client, who was “extremely frightened” of an immediate custodial sentence, was in need, and deserved, help and assistance.
Passing sentence, the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst said that there were worrying aspects to the case.
Baker was ordered to be on the Sex Offenders register for 10 years and subject to a Sex Offences Protection Order indefinitely, restricting his use of computers and the internet.
The judge, who also disqualified Baker from working with children, said only an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate and jailed Baker for 12 months.