A PAEDOPHILE who made indecent images of children was caught out on a dating site.
Craig Wilkinson has been spared jail for three counts of making indecent images of children after he was caught at the end of 2019.
The 44-year-old of Royston Avenue, Southend had his home raided on December 17 last year by police.
Basildon Crown Court heard on Friday that the raid came about from research into another matter by the force into the defendant.
Matthew Bagnall, prosecuting, told the court that Wilkinson had been identifed as a user on the dating site “Plenty of Fish” to arrange or facilitate child sex offences.
However, those matters did not appear on Wilkinson’s charge sheet for his sentence.
Mr Bagnall said: “Items were seized including a tower computer, hard-drive and mobile device. They were all subject to analysis.
“On the mobile device there were four category B images and eight category C.
“On the external hard-drive there was one category C image.”
Mr Bagnall added that the photos showed children aged between ten and 12, with the majority being 12.
Mitigating, Shaiza Malik told the court that Wilkinson had since taken up the opportunity to complete courses to help him curb his behaviour.
She said since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Wilkinson has not been in work.
She said: “His wife has had to go full time to cover the costs of the household.
“He has had three interviews with IT consultancies.”
Judge Ian Graham told Wilkinson: “These are no fantasies or made up things.
“They are real children, required and asked to perform completely inappropriate actions.
“Without people like you there would not be a market for them and they would not be made.”
Judge Graham gave Wilkinson a six month suspended prison sentence which will be suspended for 18 months.
He will be required to carry out 40 days of rehabilitation and 80 hours of unpaid work.
Anyone with concerns about child exploitation should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.