Grandad avoids jail over child sex pics

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court

Police who raided the home of a Wigan great-grandfather while he was on holiday in Thailand found a catalogue of child porn on his computer.

When Barry Coddington’s computer was forensically examined a total of 379 indecent images of children were found in all three categories of seriousness.

The images related to children aged between three and 16, and had been downloaded between February 2011 and March 2014, shortly before the police raid.

Coddington pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images and one of possessing them.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Coddington admitted sharing images with others and he had been charged with distribution but this was not pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Judge David Aubrey QC, pointed out that if he faced a distribution charge it would take sentencing into “a different stratosphere.”

He also expressed concern that there had been considerable delay since Coddington’s arrest and interview last November and this week’s court hearing.

Coddington, of Planewood Gardens, Lowton, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to carry out 40 days’ rehabilitation activities and to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

Judge Aubrey also imposed a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order restricting his internet use and unsupervised contact with children.

He told Coddington, who has eight grandchildren as well as great grand-children: “By downloading such images you and others who commit similar offences are perpetuating the abuse of children.

“There is no doubt you were doing it for sexual gratification and you have an unhealthy interest in young children and you were sharing such perverted views with other like-minded people.”

He told him that if he had appeared for sentence for distributing such images, despite his age and previous good character, he would have sent him straight to prison.

Alison Whalley, defending, said that Coddington admitted sending images back to the person who had sent them to him. He had never been in trouble before and had pleaded guilty.