Beds, Herts & Bucks

Convicted Bedford paedophile jailed for two years

Luton Crown Court Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Gary Bennett was sentenced at Luton Crown Court

A paedophile convicted of taking an indecent picture of a child 13 years ago has been jailed for possessing more than 15,000 child abuse images.

Gary Bennett, 46, of Needwood Road, Bedford, was sentenced at Luton Crown Court to two years in prison.

He had pleaded guilty to nine charges of making indecent images of children.

Judge Richard Foster told Bennett the children had "suffered the most horrible abuse for your perverted sexual gratification".

The court heard how Bennett had begun searching for pictures and videos of children being abused in 2004.

Over a ten year period, he amassed a collection of more than 15,000 images, including 302 at the most serious level.

'Real victims'

His barrister, Natalie Goff, had urged the court to suspend the sentence saying Bennett had begun seeing a counsellor.

But Judge Foster told Bennett: "What people like you fail to understand is that this offending has real victims, they are not just pictures on a computer screen."

He said the defendant had used a sophisticated method to obtain the images, having gained information from another sex offender.

Beverley Cripps, prosecuting, said police had gone to Bennett's home on 12 April 2014 and seized computer equipment, CDs, discs and lists of search terms.

She said: "Analysis of the images showed them to be of female children some as young as two. Some of the children involved were visibly upset and crying while being abused."

She said in his police interview, Bennett admitted having a sexual interest in children since he was 13.

Bennett was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the sex offenders' register for ten years.

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