Flitch Green teenager who would 'seek out child abuse images' avoids jail

PUBLISHED: 12:39 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:17 30 January 2019

. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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A Flitch Green teenager who downloaded "deeply disturbing" images of children being abused has avoided jail.

Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday (January 24), Jodh Singh Bhangal, 18, of Tanton Road, pleaded guilty to five charges including possessing prohibited images of children, and was handed a 36-month community order.

The court heard that Bhangal, whilst aged 16 and 17-years-old, was in possession of more than 500 images, including 249 movies and an image of animal porn.

In December 2017, whilst Bhangal was 17, police conducted a search at his address, seizing electronic devices, prosecutor Stephen Rose said.

Within hours of police departing, the teenager attempted to delete material on the computers.

During his police interview, Bhangal maintained he did not intend to search for the images, claiming he clicked on a link, “not appreciating” what it was.

Bhangal admitted to the police he made the decision to keep the images.

Mr Rose told the court: “[Bhangal] denied he had gained any sexual gratification from the images and said he now felt sick about it.”

Andrew Clowser, defending, said the activity started when he was “just” 16 and Bhangal had entered a prompt guilty plea. He added: “He has no interest in carrying out of any of the activities depicted in the images.”

The court was told that, since leaving school in 2016, Bhangal has been working full-time at his father’s Wimpy restaurant, with no pay in return for free lodging and board.

Sentencing, Recorder Jonathan Davies said: “Your interest in this sort of material means it is created. Because people show an interest it is created and you become part of that.”

He added: “Two of your computers indicated searches with an interest in sexual abuse of children and also there was an image of bestiality. Your explanation as to how you came by these images was not accepted by the police and I do not accept it.

“It’s quite clear for a long period of time you were seeking out child abuse images. You now say they make you feel sick. I hope that’s right but why an interest has turned into revulsion I don’t know. It may well be you are saying what the court wants to hear.”

Bhangal was also ordered to complete 60 days of rehab activity and 35 sessions of a behaviour programme as well as paying a victim surcharge.

He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years and handed a sexual harm prevention order.

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