BEING caught by police with more than 650 indecent images of children on his computer was a “relief” to a Cowbit man, magistrates have been told.
Peter Woodham (61), of Glebe Walk, was said to have previously tried to stop looking at the images voluntarily but failed before officers raided his home in July 2010.
As a result, Woodham was sentenced to a three-year community order and told to complete a community sex offender group programme when he appeared at Spalding Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.
He had previously pleaded guilty to five charges relating to indecent images of children earlier this month.
Rebecca Ritson, prosecuting, said Woodham was caught out in an ongoing operation when his address was linked to a website through a protocol address.
She said he went on to make a full confession to officers before his computer equipment was seized and sent off for analysis.
Dav Naghen, defending, said: “He was fully co-operative with police and on arrest he was quite relieved because he wanted to break the cycle.
“He tried to give up voluntarily but had not succeeded.”
Mr Naghen said the majority of the 654 images were placed in the least serious level one category, and some had been duplicated in different files.
He explained Woodham was “not the sort to hide” behind his behaviour and had fully explained his reasons and motivation.
Mr Naghen said Woodham also suffered from mental health problems since the deaths of family members.
Of the probation report recommending a community supervision order, Mr Naghen added: “It’s a very well thought out recommendation. It’s no secret that the prison services are stretched to the limit and if Mr Woodham goes into custody, he won’t be there long enough to start or complete a programme.
“He would be detained but receive no help and be released at the end of his sentence.”
Presiding magistrate Jim Price agreed the community order was the “way forward” for Woodham.
He said the programme would address Woodham’s “distorted” attitudes.
Woodham will also be required to sign on the sexual offences register for five years and pay prosecution costs of £85.