Judges free child images man over fears of abuse in jail
A man who was jailed for possessing child abuse images has been freed by a judge amid claims that he could become an "inmate's bitch".
Dean Aaron Gee, 29, of Esplanade, Scarborough, was sentenced to 10 months in prison on 11 May after admitting possessing indecent images of children.
But the Court of Appeal replaced it with a three-year community order.
Judges quoted a psychiatric report saying Gee "would probably be abused and made another inmate's bitch".
Lord Justice Rix, Mr Justice Stadlen and Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London, quashed the jail sentence in light of the "exceptional mitigation" in his case.
He will instead be required to attend a sex offenders treatment programme.
The court heard that Gee had "lived an exemplary life" and set up a charity to help young people after suffering an "appallingly dysfunctional" childhood himself.
His possession of child sex images was exposed after a thief broke into his car in a Manchester street last year and stole his laptop computer.
He was jailed at Manchester Crown Court after admitting 17 counts of possessing an indecent photograph of a child.
His lawyers told the Court of Appeal that psychiatric reports had revealed he was looking at the images as a result of trauma he had suffered during his own "persecution" as a child and "didn't pose a risk to real children in the future".
Mr Justice Stadlen said: "The material on the computer was utterly abhorrent."
However, the judge added that Gee had "devoted his life to charity work", despite his bad start in life, and his background and his reaction to it made his case exceptional.
The judge also said there was a real risk that prison would be "devastating" for Gee and potentially leave him suicidal if he himself were sexually abused.
He concluded: "This is one of those very rare and exceptional cases in which the public interest didn't lie in a sentence of imprisonment."