Wigan man who had 2,099 vile child abuse images on his computer hard drive is spared jail

Bolton Crown Court
Bolton Crown Court

A young Wigan man has admitted to possessing a vile library of child abuse images.

Gary Pennington was spared a jail sentence but was hit with a three-year community order by a Bolton judge following the discovery of no fewer than 2,099 indecent pictures.

The 27-year-old of Walpole Avenue, Worsley Mesnes, will have to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and is also subject to a decade-long sexual harm prevention order.

The crown court hearing was told that police acted on intelligence that Pennington was downloading child porn and executed a search warrant in a dawn raid at his home in December 2017.

Computer equipment was seized during a search of the address and subsequent scouring of its hard drive yielded the hundreds of images.

A total of 267 of the pictures fell into the most serious category of abuse images (A); a further 252 were considered category B and the remaining 1,580 were in category C.

Pennington pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images of children, one for each category, and one of distributing an illegal video. He must also attend a 21-day sexual offenders’ programme.