Northampton Poundland worker, 28, found to have dozens of sexual images of children and bestiality found on electronic devices

Total of 149 illegal pictures on defendant's computer, mobile phone and USB sticks

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 9:41 am

A Northampton shop worker who had downloaded dozens of sexual images of children and bestiality onto his electronic devices was sentenced today (Monday, August 2).

A total of 149 illegal pictures were found on Robert Whitworth's computer, mobile phone and USB sticks after a raid in 2018.

The 28-year-old, of Clarence Avenue, Queen's Park, was given a three-year community order at Northampton Crown Court after pleading guilty.

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Northampton Crown Court

His Honour Judge Michael Fowler said: "This is a matter that arose when perhaps you were having personal difficulties.

"Hopefully you have an continue to address this and not find yourself before a court for this matter and any other matter."

March Achurch, prosecuting, said police seized Whitworth's electronic devices after raiding his home on May 29, 2018.

On them were two category C indecent and 145 prohibited images of children, two pictures of a graphic nature relating to an animal and internet searches relating to such images.

Whitworth pleaded guilty to making two indecent photographs between August 8, 2016, and May 27, 2018, possessing the bestiality images between December 26, 2016, and July 6, 2017, and possessing the prohibited images between January 25, 2012, and May 27, 2018, at Northampton Magistrates' Court.

The court heard a glowing reference from Poundland about him, describing him as 'hard-working, punctual and second-to-none on the shop floor'.

Poundland told the Chronicle & Echo afterwards that the reference was made to a landlord and was not made for the court.

Judge Fowler warned him: "The pre-sentence report gives the impression either you didn't understand the seriousness of these offences or you found it difficult to engage wit the probation officer as you missed the first appointment that was made.

"For that reason let me make it clear to you although I take the view these matters don't merit the imposition of a custodial sentence, you mustn't run away with the idea these aren't serious matters, they are.

"If you don't take advantage of the support offered by the probation officer in the pre-sentence report, you might still find yourself before the court facing the possibility of a custodial sentence.

"While no sentence of imprisonment is imposed today or suspended if you breach the order made today you will be brought back before the court and that might end in a custodial sentence.

"A community order does not in any way undermine the seriousness of these matters and I hope you now understand that."

Whitworth was told to complete 80 hours of unpaid work, pay £425 in costs and complete 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days and given a five-year sexual harm prevention order.