COURT: Jail for former student caught with hundreds of child porn images in Harrogate

Simon James Tucker. Picture: North Yorkshire Police (s).

Simon James Tucker. Picture: North Yorkshire Police (s).

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A former university student has been jailed for possessing hundreds of child-porn images.

Simon James Tucker, 30, trawled the dark web for pictures of youngsters and stored them on hard drives and computers.
He uploaded many of the images onto a file-sharing site so other paedophiles could look at the shots.

Police found other images of extreme pornography involving an adult female and a dog.
Tucker, who was living in Harrogate at the time, also viewed videos featuring children being sexually abused by adult males.
Jessica Slaughter, prosecuting at York Crown Court, said cyber-crime police had been tracking a computer IP address which was traced to a property on Eleanor Road, Harrogate, where Tucker was living with a friend.
They raided the house on June 2 last year but Tucker barricaded himself inside his bedroom.
His attempts to evade police were futile but he then gave a false name. To compound matters, Tucker’s innocent housemate was also arrested because the IP address was under his name.
The housemate was later cleared when it became clear that it was Tucker who had been viewing and sharing the images.
Police seized two computers on which they found a total of just under 800 images, the majority of which were Category A photos and movie files - the most serious kind.
Tucker was arrested and admitted 14 cyber-crime offences.
They included seven counts of possessing Category A videos featuring children aged between seven and 12; two counts of possessing Category B images of youngsters aged 12 to 15; and one count of possessing a Category C image of a girl aged between 11 and 14.
He admitted a further charge of possessing extreme pornographic material, namely 27 files including movie clips.
Tucker, now of Ennerdale Grove, Durham, also admitted possessing 63 images with a view to distribution in that he uploaded them onto a file-sharing site.
He had been amassing all the indecent images between September 2012 and May 2015.
Barrister Alistair McDonald, for Tucker, said the former under-graduate had developed an over-reliance on the internet because of self-confidence issues.
He said at university, Tucker would spend much of his time looking at online pornography.
A probation report stated that Tucker posed a high risk to children between the ages of five and 15, even though he had never carried out any of his fantasies.
Recorder Mr A.Haslam excoriated Tucker for playing a part in the demand for images of real children being abused.
Tucker was jailed for two years and made subject to a seven-year sexual-harm prevention order, which will limit his internet use and contact with children when he is released.

He was also made to sign on the sex-offenders’ register for seven years.