A PERVERT pensioner who had 30,000 indecent images of children and had searched for ‘dog sex’ in a bid to cure his ‘erectile dysfunction’ has been spared jail.

Richard Chowra appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday where he admitted downloading the images over a decade at his Redditch home.

The 70-year-old admitted making 1,027 indecent images of children at category A, the most serious level which shows penetrative sex with children, between January 4, 2008 and September 27, 2018.

During the same period he also admitted downloading 1,644 category B indecent images of children and 28,065 indecent images at category C.

He further admitted possessing 12 ‘extreme pornographic images’ on September 26 last year which were ‘grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character’.

Simon Phillips, prosecuting, said police searched the defendant’s address in Eckington Close, Redditch, on September 26, 2018 because of intelligence received by West Mercia Police.

Mr Phillips said officers asked Chowra whether there were any indecent images of children on the premises to which the defendant replied: “Yes – I’ll show you.”

Images were found on Chowra’s home computer and, in the course of the search, other items were seized including 10 USB storage devices, DVDs, digital camera and SD cards.

The defendant was interviewed immediately but answered ‘no comment’ to all questions asked of him by police. He did the same in his second interview.

Search terms entered into the computer by Chowra included ‘pre-teen’, ‘zoo sex’, ‘paedo girl’ and ‘sex with dog’.

Clean-up software was also found and on May 12, 2018 the defendant had deleted 40,000 files, the contents of which remain unknown.

The defendant had been of good character until the hearing.

Martin Butterworth, defending, accepted that the case crossed the custody threshold but argued that there were sufficient features to justify the custodial sentence being suspended.

He advanced as mitigation the defendant’s guilty plea and previous good character.

“He’s a man who has lived alone since his wife died at an early stage of their marriage” said Mr Butterworth.

The advocate said his client had remarried but had continued to live alone and was awaiting surgery for a hernia and heart problems. The court heard that Chowra was in receipt of state and a private pension and only had £5 leftover per week once he had paid his mortgage and other expenses.

Judge Martin Jackson told Chowra he had maintained his silence in his second interview even though ‘it must have been abundantly clear that police had plenty of evidence against you’.

He said Chowra had told the probation service that he had started to download this material to assist him because he was suffering from erectile dysfunction.

The judge told him an aggravating feature of the case was the length of time over which the material had been downloaded. However, he also said the defendant had not accessed similar material since 2018 and has showed ‘insight’ into his offending when interviewed by probation.

Judge Jackson told the defendant that ‘real children are the victims of the production of these sort of images’ and that those who downloaded them were ‘fuelling the trade in the exploitation of children’.

However, he also said there was the prospect of successful intervention by the probation service and also referred to the coronavirus pandemic. He said the impact of prison on a man of 70 with health problems would be heavier than on someone ‘younger and fitter’.

The judge sentenced him to 12 months in prison suspended for two years. Chowra, who must register as a sex offender, was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

He must notify police of any computer equipment he acquires or uses, must not conceal his browsing history and must make any devices available for inspection by police.

The judge further ordered the forfeiture and destruction of any device containing indecent images.

No prosecution costs were awarded because of the defendant’s limited means.