January 28, 2021 12.25 pm This story is over 33 months old

Elderly man avoids jail after police find stash of indecent child images

Over 4,000 images of child abuse found on his computer

A man who was caught with thousands of indecent images of children after police arrested him in his car has avoided jail at Lincoln Crown Court.

Officers received information that Anthony Burke, 65, had been downloading the illegal images and in January 2020 tracked him down to an industrial estate at Caythorpe Heath near Grantham, where he was living in his car.

Victoria Rose, prosecuting, told the court: “The defendant was found in a Sherpa van. He was living in that van and there was a bed in it.

“Another vehicle linked to Burke was nearby. In that vehicle there was a computer hard drive which contained indecent images of children.”

Miss Rose said that a total of 4,181 indecent images of children were on the hard drive of which 344 were classified as being in the most serious category.

The images, which had been downloaded between March 2015 and December 2017, showed children as young as four years old being abused.

When Burke was interviewed by police, he admitted what he had been doing.

Miss Rose told the court: “He said he knew it was wrong but he became addicted.”

Anthony Burke, 65, of Caythorpe Heath, Caythorpe, admitted four charges of possessing indecent images of children.

He was given a 15-month jail sentence suspended for two years with 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was also given a five-year sexual harm prevention order.

Mark Watson, in mitigation, said that Burke’s life was at a low ebb at the time following the death of his mother from cancer followed by his wife being diagnosed with the disease.

“Until that point the defendant didn’t have a computer.

“Computers and the internet were alien to him. Having gained access to the worldwide web he also began looking at these images and his interest became an addiction.”

He said that Burke had no convictions for any similar offence and had not accessed any illegal images for over three years having stopped looking at them.