Devon

Graham Hawkins downloaded child porn with employer's wi-fi

A Devon caretaker who used his boss's wi-fi to access child pornography has been given a suspended sentence.

Graham Hawkins, formerly of Falcon Park, Paignton, piggy-backed on the signal, initially sending police on the trail of restaurant boss Ronald Clarke.

Hawkins, 46, who now lives in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, admitted eight counts of possessing indecent images of children.

He was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, at Exeter Crown Court.

Previous convictions

He was also put on the sex offenders register and the judge, Mr Justice Butterfield, ordered him to undertake a sex offenders' programme as part of a two-year supervision order.

"If I were to send you to jail you would serve a few months and be released without anybody looking at your problem," the judge told him.

"You would come out of prison a lonely man and no doubt go back to doing the same thing. The public would not be well served by that sequence of events."

Mr Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said 18 still images and 15 movies were found on two DVDs at Hawkins' flat in Paignton but officers were unable to recover his computer.

He said the initial target for the inquiry was Mr Clarke, whose wi-fi was used to download a large number of images from a file sharing site.

"Mr Clarke was found to have nothing whatsoever to do with this material," Mr Barnes said.

Hawkins had initially denied viewing child pornography, but he later admitted having an interest in the images. He had received two similar convictions in the 1990s.

Mr Jolyon Tuck, defending, said Hawkins now acknowledged he had a problem for which he needed help to avoid offending again in the future.

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