Devon

Man who claimed child sex doll was for art project jailed

Donald Styles Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Donald Styles admitted one count of taking and three counts of possessing indecent images of children

A man who claimed a child sex doll he ordered from China was for an art project has been jailed after police found child abuse videos at his home.

Donald Styles, 61, said he purchased the 3ft doll, which had realistic sex organs, for a university application after it was intercepted at customs.

Police raided his home in Newton Abbot, Devon, and found 149 films and images of child abuse including rape.

A judge said his story was "ridiculous" and jailed him for 18 months.

Exeter Crown Court heard Styles, a former Plymouth University art student, had told police he wanted the doll for a project he needed to submit as part of an application for a masters degree course at the university.

Judge David Evans told Styles: "If you needed a doll, there were plenty you could have bought legally. There was no reason whatsoever it had to be a child sex doll.

"Your explanation is utterly ridiculous and I reject it completely. This offence is so serious that only immediate imprisonment is justified."

Jason Beal, prosecuting, said an investigation was launched by the National Crime Agency when Styles tried to import the doll from China in 2016.

His home was raided in February 2018 and the images were found on CD ROMs which were made in the early 2000s.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Child sex dolls are made of a silicon-like material and can weigh as much as a child (file image)

Mr Beal said: "Asked about what police might find on his computer, he said 'a few normal naughty nude pictures'."

In reality 149 films and images were recovered of which 72 fell in the worst category, depicting child rape.

There was also a video he had made of a naked five-year-old child.

Inquiries with Plymouth University also showed he had not made any recent application for any courses.

Paul Dentith, defending, said the offences had taken place a long time ago and there was no evidence of any direct physical offending against children.

Styles, of Oak Place, Newton Abbot, admitted one count of producing and three counts of possessing indecent images of children.

He was jailed for 18 months, put on the sex offenders register for 10 years, restricted from contacting children and will have his internet activity monitored.

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