Sex offender could face jail after downloading more than 1,600 child abuse images

By Contributor in Crime

A SEX offender from South Zeal has been warned he faces jail for downloading more than 1,600 child abuse images just a month after his suspended sentence expired.

Neill Sobey was spared a jail sentence and sent on a sex offenders’ treatment course in 2014 when he was caught with 2,579 images or movies.

He received a suspended sentence, which expired on March 13, 2016, exactly four weeks before he downloaded more images.

His activity also put him in breach of a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) which was imposed in 2014 to control his use of the internet.

Sobey, aged 73, admitted making indecent images of children between April 11 and 14, 2016, and breaching a sexual offences prevention order.

The first charge related to four category B images and 1,611 images at the lowest category C.

Judge Philip Parker, QC, adjourned his case and ordered a probation report. He released him on bail but told him: ‘The most likely sentence is immediate custody because of the breach of the order.’

In the 2014 case, Sobey was trapped by an international monitoring operation because he joined a website called Child Love which featured graphic images and movies of toddlers, babies and young children, including images of abuse.

Sobey also had images and a film of bestiality.

He was jailed for nine months, suspended for two years, ordered to pay £225 costs and attend the internet sex offenders’ treatment programme as part of two years’ supervision.

He was also made subject of a SOPO which restricted his access to the internet and allowed the police to monitor his use of computers.

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