Tyne & Wear

BBC journalist sentenced for child abuse images

Newcastle Crown Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Newcastle Crown Court heard some of the images were in the most serious category

A BBC journalist who was caught with images of child sexual abuse on his home computer has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Lloyd Watson, 33, from Gateshead, admitted three charges involving 26 videos and nine images.

One video showed abuse involving a young girl who was clearly distressed.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Watson had used the dark web to obtain the material. He was jailed for nine months, suspended for two years.

'Confessions text'

Michael Bunch, prosecuting, told the court a computer had been seized from Watson's home in March 2016.

Photographs and videos were found from all three categories used by the courts to classify the seriousness of offences involving indecent images.

Mr Bunch said a document was also found entitled "confessions text" in which Watson wrote he had "done nothing wrong".

In it, he said it was "the people who made the material who should be hunted down". He also said that he was "not condoning it or helping it".

Sex offenders register

Michael Miller, mitigating, said Watson had no previous convictions, had pleaded guilty and was seeking professional help.

Sentencing him, Judge Amanda Rippon said: "Every child who has been abused, you have personally abused by viewing it."

Watson had earlier admitted three charges of making indecent images when he appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

As well as the suspended sentence, he was given a sexual harm prevention order lasting 15 years and was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Watson worked for the BBC News website in Newcastle.

In a statement, the BBC said: "He will no longer be working for the BBC. His crimes were entirely unrelated to his work for us."

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