CRYING in the dock, a paedophile was sentenced for possession of more than 1,000 indecent images of young children.

Oxford Crown Court heard that Richard Christian has been watching pornography from a young age which ‘progressed into looking at illegal images’.

Some of the children in the pictures were as young as four.

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He admitted to possessing the images to his wife as he was arrested from his home on July 21 last year.

On Thursday, December 14, the 39-year-old was sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for two years by Judge Nigel Daly.

Prosecuting the case, barrister Oliver Kelham said an iPhone was seized from Christian and on it police found four Category A images, 62 Category B images and 948 Category C images. A further 3,720 images were found but couldn’t be categorised.

Defending Christian, of Albury View, Tiddington, Thame, his barrister Bethan Chichester said has has expressed ‘genuine remorse and shame’.

“He said he didn’t specifically go looking for the images,” she said. “These images are often downloaded in bulk and the offender cannot always control the content downloaded.”

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She added that Christian had expressed ‘significant bullying’ as a child, including sexual abuse from an older boy at school which had a ‘negative impact on how he controls his emotions’.

“His offending behaviour became a coping mechanism,” she said. “It’s nothing something he intends to repeat or will before the courts for again. I urge you to give him a second chance.”

Christian could be seen crying in the dock through the defence submissions. His father attended the hearing with him from support but the court heard he had split from his wife on the day of his arrest.

He has no previous convictions and has completed a course with Lucy Faithfull, a UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to preventing child sexual abuse.

Sentencing, Judge Daly said: “I’ve read a number of references on your behalf and the pre-sentence report. I don’t think there were any moving images so where there are some aggravating features that aren’t many.

“You’ve been seeking help and getting it.”

Christian was also ordered to complete up to 40 rehabilitation activity days and six months of mental health treatment.

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There was £425 of court costs and a victim surcharge was ordered.

He was made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to last for 10 years and a deprivation order was made for the iPhone the images were found on.