Nottingham Crown Court

A Carlton man has pleaded guilty to possessing extreme child pornography.

Matthew Cooper, 46, of Foxhill Road, had over 50 photos and nine videos of children between the ages of six and 13 performing sexual acts.

Cooper appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing.

The defendant initially denied using websites for child pornography but admitted to watching adult porn.

Prosecuting, Stuart Pattinson said that Cooper used the website Tumblr to obtain the images and the defendant said: “I was an idiot for going back.”

Police seized three electronic devices from Cooper’s home on September 27 2018 where 54 photographs were discovered, 34 of which fall into category A which is the most serious.

“for every one of these videos there is a child being harmed or abused”

Mr Pattinson said Cooper admitted guilt at first opportunity which contributed to him being offered a community sentence instead of facing prison time.

He said Cooper had previous convictions involving 32 similar offences in 2009.

Mitigating for Cooper, Matthew Hayes, that he had led an isolated life since the death of his grandmother, who he cared for.

He added: “There’s a realistic prospect of rehabilitation in this case” after saying Cooper should attend a sexual offenders’ treatment programme rather than being locked up.

Mr Hayes described how Cooper had this “hanging over him” since his first police interview in September of last year.

Judge John Burgess said: “Think about the harm being done to the children…for every one of these videos there is a child being harmed or abused.”

But he said he would not impose a custodial sentence and instead imposed a rehabilitation order. “I don’t think we’d have addressed the problem that caused you to offend in the first place,” he added. “If you offend again you’re going straight to prison.”

The judge described how the growing issue of offences relating to pornography is extremely time consuming and said: “Police resources are overburdened with cases of this sort.”

He also highlighted the growing issue surrounding such cases and said: “You know as well as anyone why these images of children have such damage.”

Cooper was sentenced to a three-year community order alongside a credit programme requirement. He is also obliged to attend a rehabilitation activity for 20 days.