A pensioner who filmed young girls in their swimwear on Scarborough’s South Bay Beach has been spared jail despite breaching a court order designed to curb his debauched habits.
Anthony Easom, 75, photographed children as young as seven and stored the movies on his computer, York Crown Court heard.
In March 2015, he was convicted of making indecent images and stalking a nine-year-old girl. He was given a two-year community order and slapped with a sexual-harm prevention order to restrict his computer use.
The order stipulated that Easom must not install encryption or wiping software on his computer, but within a few months of the order being in place, he did just that – on eight separate occasions.
Police swooped on his home in the South Bay area and seized his computer tower which showed that he had not only installed the specialist software but created password-protected “private vaults” which he saved onto a memory stick, said prosecutor Martin Robertshaw.
However, it turned out that Easom had not been harbouring indecent material but viewing legal adult porn which he didn’t want his family to know about. To keep his online activities secret, he had attached encryption software, but this only served to heighten police suspicions about images featuring children, resulting in the search of his home in July 2017.
Easom was arrested and charged with eight counts of breaching a sexual-harm prevention order. He initially denied the offences but ultimately admitted all charges and appeared for sentence.
Mr Robertshaw said Easom had used the cryptic software for about 20 months between May 2015 and February 2017.
Easom’s original offences dated back to 2014 when he “took photos of young females as young as seven on Scarborough Beach when these young females were wearing swimwear”.
The paedophile, of Holbeck Road, “made movies or videos of these young females who clearly wouldn’t have been aware that they were being photographed and made subject of videos”.
“He accepted that he did have a problem regarding a sexual attraction to young females and looking at photos of such females,” added Mr Robertshaw.
Easom had previous convictions dating back to 1988 including shoplifting and harassment.
Defence barrister Taryn Turner said Easom had been “foolish” to save legal adult pornography on a memory stick, which heightened police suspicions about his online activities at a time when he was subject to restrictions under the original five-year court order to prevent him looking at “dirty images” of young girls.
“It’s clear there are people in the locale who regard him as a decent man,” added Mrs Turner.
Judge Paul Worsley QC told Easom: “Sadly, you have a deep-seated interest in young girls and that interest has strayed into pornography.
“The court will protect young people from those like you who have an unhealthy interest in them.”
However, the judge said he could “just” step back from an immediate jail sentence because of Easom’s guilty pleas, his age, health problems and the fact that he had no indecent images stored on his computer equipment after the sexual-harm prevention order had been imposed.
The six-month prison term was suspended for two years and Easom was made to pay £340 costs. The order restricting his computer use will remain in place.