Teenager concealed indecent images of children, hiding some in music app

An ‘immature’ teenager, who uploaded more than 220 indecent images of children on the internet, shared some of them with two other people in online chats, a court has heard.

Acting, “on information received”, the police went to the home of Samuel Kettell on June 9, 2020, and asked to see his electronic devices.

The then 19-year-old asked to speak to one of the detectives and confessed to accessing indecent images of children.

Durham Crown Court was told that examination of a recovered phone and laptop revealed a total of 227 offending images, including 99 photos and eight videos in the most serious category for such material.

Jonathan Gittins, prosecuting, said some were initially inaccessible, while others were hidden in a music app.

Nine of the images were discovered to have been shared with others in online chats earlier that year.

Although in subsequent police interviews he gave ‘no comment’ answers to police, the now 21-year-old defendant from Hill Rise, Peterlee, admitted three counts each of possession and distribution of indecent images in the three seriousness categories, when he appeared. before the magistrates.

Michael Cahill, by way of mitigation, told the court: “He’s a young man who had the good sense to plead guilty at the first opportunity in court.

“He primarily owned these images rather than being a serial distributor of them.

“He cooperated fully with the police and provided the passwords for these devices from the start.

“I understand that these offenses cross the threshold of detention, but the probation service has said that there is a structured program to deal with him, and he wants to comply with it because he wants to make sure it does not happen again.”

Mr Cahill added that the defendant, who he said ‘comes across as rather childish’, has been undergoing ‘medical procedures’ while waiting for the case to be dealt with for nearly two years.

Read more: A maths teacher who collected images of indecent children has been banned for life from teaching

Judge Robert Spragg agreed the case should have been concluded sooner, but said given his lack of prior offenses and guilty pleas, he could suspend the 16-month prison sentence for two years .

But Kettell must complete a group work program for sex offenders, undergo 40 days of rehabilitation activities with the probation service and perform 100 hours of unpaid work during this period.

He will also be subject to restricted internet access and use under a sexual abuse prevention order, while he will have to register as a sex offender, both for ten years.

The judge also ordered the confiscation and destruction of the seized devices.

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