A YOUNG man confessed to his Stratford College tutor after becoming concerned about the indecent images of children being sexually abused he had been saving on his computer.
Luke Hince then reported himself to the police and made full admissions about what he had been doing, a judge at Warwick Crown Court has heard.
And it was the unusual way his offences came to light that saved Hince, who is now a student at Coventry University, from a custodial sentence.
The 20 year-old of The Fordway, Lower Quinton, near Stratford, pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme pornography.
He was given a 12-month community sentence, with a rehabilitation activity for 25 days, and was ordered to register as a sex offender for five years.
Prosecutor Andrew Wallace said the offences came to light in an unusual way while Hince, who is originally from Guernsey, was a student at Stratford College.
And the most detailed outline of the offences were in Hince’s statement to the police after he had reported himself.
He said when he was 14 he had set up a chat site account with a false user name, pretending to be a girl, and got into chatting with someone in North America called Ted.
After some time Ted, believing he was a girl, invited him into a chat room which gave access to child pornography.
As a result Hince was able to view the images, and he saved some of them,
Hince said the images had disturbed him, so he spoke to his tutor at the college and was advised to go to the police.
Rashad Mohammed, defending, said: “It’s clear he has obtained some gratification. It may be that going to his tutor was a cry for help over the unhealthy interest he had in those images.
“He was 18 at the time, and now 20. He welcomes help if it’s offered to him. He wants to put this unhealthy interest behind him.”
Mr Mohammed said Hince was now at Coventry University, where he also has an address in St Margarets Road, Coventry, and was due to begin the second year of a business management course in October.
Sentencing Hince, Judge Stephen Eyre QC told him: “This is an unusual case, but the possession of indecent images of children is a serious matter because those who obtain those images contribute to a state of affairs in which young children are the victims of abuse.
“The guidelines would justify a custodial sentence, but in the particular circumstances of this case, I am able to take an exceptional course.”