YA Reporter Unmasks Pervert With 100,000 Child Abuse Images
Thur 7th June 2012 , Yellow Advertiser
A YELLOW Advertiser reporter has overturned a court ruling which granted anonymity to a paedophile who downloaded over 100,000 indecent images of children.
Stephen Grace, 37, of Claremont Road in Basildon, pleaded guilty to seven counts of making indecent images of children, but magistrates at an earlier hearing had issued a gagging order, banning the publication of his address.
The decision would have prevented any coverage of Grace's case as without publishing his address to identify him, the YA could have faced libel action from anyone who shared the defendant's name.
YA reporter Charles Thomson made a legal argument before presiding Judge John Lodge in open court, asking him to lift the ban.
Grace's barrister Richard Burrington challenged Charles, arguing that Grace lived with his parents, who could suffer from the publication of their address.
Judge Lodge dismissed the argument and sided with Charles, telling Mr Burrington that he was effectively arguing for a blanket ban on the reporting of any case in which a sex offender did not live alone.
Grace's home was raided on September 26, 2011, after his computer was found to have accessed a website containing indecent images of children.
Police found more than 100,000 indecent images of children on a computer, two hard drives and three portable USB storage devices in Grace's bedroom.
The bulk of the images were found on the computer, which contained 103,423 images of 'young children'.
Over 400 images on the computer were level five - depicting the most sickening level of abuse - and almost 4,000 were level four.
The computer also contained moving images, which spanned levels one to five.
Judge Lodge told Grace: “People like you use such images. Once you use such images, children are abused so images can be created.”
He told Grace he would be spared jail because a community order would allow for a far longer monitoring period.
Dismissing the recommended 12-month prison sentence, he said: “For six months, children will be protected - and thereafter they will not.”
Instead, he handed Grace a three-year community order with three years of supervision and an order to attend a sex offenders treatment programme.
He told Grace he would have to sign the sex offenders register for five years and would be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for the same period.
He told Grace the public should not have to pick up the tab for his prosecution and ordered him to pay £530 in costs.
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