SIMON CHAMBERS -SOUTH SHIELDS

Pervert caught with indecent images of children gave ‘fanciful’ explanation about being a paedophile hunter

Simon Chambers, of South Shields, was caught with 100 indecent pictures of children aged between two and seven

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A pervert caught with indecent images of children as young as two gave police a “fanciful” explanation that he downloaded them as part of a sting to catch paedophiles.

Simon Chambers was found to have 100 pictures of youngsters on his phone when police swooped on his home.

The pictures, 21 of which were in the most serious category, showed children aged between two and seven.

Chambers, 50, initially claimed they had been downloaded accidentally but then went on to give a “convoluted account” about doing it to catch local perverts.

Judge Stephen Earl told him his excuse for having the images was “fanciful”.

He added: “This wasn’t a sting operation in action, this was for your own sexual gratification, as you have admitted by virtue of your plea.”

The judge added: “One of the things we all hold true is the fact we protect those weakest in society. The weakest of all are children.

“Unfortunately, while there are people viewing and distributing these sort of images, there will be people to take these sort of images.”

Prosecutor Michael Bunch told the court police had raided Chambers’ home on December 12 last year.

Mr Bunch said: “All were still images. The age range, assessed by the expert from the police forensic unit, was between the ages of two and seven.”

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The court heard during initial interview by police, Chambers claimed some material may have been downloaded on his phone accidentally and then been deleted.

Mr Bunch added: “The defendant was re-interviewed following the interrogation of the device.

“He gave a long, convoluted, account, suggesting the images had been downloaded by him for use in order to set up a sting operation to identify local paedophiles.”

Chambers, of Stanhope Road, South Shields, pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of children.

He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with programme and rehabilitation requirements. He must also sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Chambers has no previous convictions.

She added: “While he did make initial denials in interview, he did go on to accept responsibility.”

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/indecent-images-south-shields-court-15289595

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