Pervert had 2,000 indecent images on his mobile phone

File photo of mobile phone
File photo of mobile phone -Credit:PA

A pervert was caught with almost 2,000 indecent images on his mobile phone when officers from Lancashire Police paid him a visit.

Matthew Race, 45, was under supervision after being caught with indecent images in 2019. In April 2022, officers paid a monitoring visit to his home and recovered a mobile phone, which was sent for analysis.

They discovered 68 images at the most serious category A, 61 category B images and 1836 category C images. The search history revealed he had used terms such as 'tiny teen', relating to his sexual interest in children, Preston Crown Court heard.

Race's perverted interests were discovered when his phone was found by horrified teenagers in 2019. As a result of the find, he was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years and made the subject of a life time sexual harm prevention order.

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Following the more recent discovery in 2022, he said he had become isolated and reliant on the internet for sexual gratification. He was suffering with mental health difficulties and struggled to form relationships, he said.

Judge Richard Gioserano, sentencing, said: "Back in 2019 you were given the chance of a suspended sentence order for this sirt if thing, possessing indecent images of children. I think you completed that order without breach, but here you are again, back accessing the same sort of material because you can't control your sexual interest in children.

"Let me state the obvious. Every indecent image of a child is the image of a child being sexually abused. I have heard a lot about you in mitigation - your loneliness, your mental health difficulties, your difficulties forming relationships and so on and so on, but this is not about you.

"This is about curbing the supply of this sort of disgusting material and protecting children. That is what this is actually about.

"It is very tempting to say if you can't control your sexual interest in children so that you don't access this sort of material and you can't comply with your SHPO then you go to prison. It is very tempting to do that and part of me thinks that is what the public would expect me to do."

However Judge Gioserano said the offences were now two years old and any prison sentence he could impose would be in the region of six months.

"The best way of protecting children might be to try and correct your distorted thinking rather than imprison you for a few months."

He handed Race, of Symonds Road, Preston, a sentence of 12 months for each offence of possessing indecent images, to run consecutively, but suspended the sentence for two years. He ordered the defendant to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, 25 days rehabilitation activity requirements and attend a sex offenders program to address his offending.