March 2, 2021 3.39 pm This story is over 15 months old

Lincoln student who sent child sex abuse videos avoids jail

He chatted online about raping a baby

A student distributed video footage of young children being sexually abused and chatted online about an interest in raping a baby, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Tuesday.

Joshua Sly, who at the time was about to start a course at the University of Lincoln, sent three indecent video clips of children being abused to a Canadian woman he met through an online chat log.

Lisa Hardy, prosecuting, told the court that Sly had a “disturbing conversation” with the woman in which he told her he was performing a sexual act and thinking of raping a baby.

“She told him she had a three-week-old niece. He replied ‘perfect’,” said Mrs Hardy.

Sly’s internet activities attracted the attention of police and in November 2019 officers traced him to an address in uphill Lincoln.

A laptop and an iPhone were taken away and when the items were examined officers found 56 indecent images of children together with five extreme pornographic images.

Miss Hardy said: “On searching these devices what was of significant concern to the officers was the content of the chat he had engaged in on Kik and Skype.”

When Sly was later interviewed he said that at the time he committed the offences he was depressed and lonely.

“He said got into conversation with the Canadian woman and got sucked into a group of people who were into that sort of thing. He became involved with her. It became sexual and she began to send him things.”

The court was told that Sly, now a full-time student at the University of Lincoln, was only just 18 at the time he was involved with the woman and stopped his illegal activities six months before police turned up at his home.

Sly, now 20, of Spital Street, Lincoln, admitted distributing indecent images of children between July and September 2018.

He also admitted three charges of making an indecent image of a child and a further charge of possession of extreme pornographic images.

Christopher Jeyes, in mitigation, said that Sly has since reflected on his behaviour and accepted he has issues.

“It is something that is not easy for him to come to terms with. He is a young man who in many ways is isolated and unsupported.”

He said that Sly had little or no contact with his parents since he was 15 and was very isolated.

Sly was given a 16-month jail sentence suspended for two years with a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was ordered to complete a sex offender treatment programme and was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years. He was also given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.