A County Durham man has claimed he has no sexual interest in children despite uploading sickening pictures

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A pedophile who uploaded sickening indecent images and had ‘cleaning software’ on his laptop has told police he has no sexual interest in children.

Stuart Nicol was found with the abuse material, the majority of which was videos, when police raided his home in September 2020. The indecent footage depicted children as young as three and included video of a duration of almost 10 minutes.

When arrested, he made a “full confession”, but claimed he had no sexual interest in the children and suggested he had gathered the footage with the intention of contacting the police. The 63-year-old appeared at Durham Crown Court on Monday to be sentenced on three counts of creating indecent images of children. He pleaded guilty to the charges during the morning hearing.

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Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said police executed a search warrant at her home on September 28, 2020 and seized a laptop which was examined. A total of 39 indecent images of category A, 55 category B and 12 category C children were discovered. The material was uploaded between January 27 and August 17, 2020, but Nicol admitted he had been uploading images since 2013. All of the Category B images were “moving”, the court heard.

Ms Lamballe, said: “He said he had no sexual interest in children and that his mental health was behind his offence. The images involved children as young as three years old and a video of nine minutes was found Cleaning software was installed and had been used several times prior to his arrest and appeared to suggest he was gathering the footage with a view to contacting the police or a helpline.

Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Nicol had been “extremely honest” about the footage found. She said: “He had a very respectable job in sales and traveled the world with his job. In 2013 his brother passed away and he still finds it hard to talk about his passing. From that point on, his mental health deteriorated and he then quit his respectable job.

“He then started a new job and was given a laptop and he thought pictures had appeared on that laptop, but he accepts that he then downloaded pictures on his own and put them in a folder on his office.”

Conviction Nicol, of North View, Castle Eden, County Durham, Judge James Adkin, Durham Recorder, said: ‘The material you have watched are disgusting images of real children being sexually abused at the hands of ‘adults. You are the market, and without you there is less risk of these children being victimized.”

Nicol was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for two years and must complete 40 days of rehabilitation and 180 hours of unpaid work. He will be on the sex offender registry for 10 years and a 10-year prevention of sexual abuse order has also been imposed.

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