A British man arrested for child pornography as he prepared to board a flight to the Philippines has been spared jail.
Details of David Halliburton’s persistent offending over almost seven years have been outlined at Carlisle Crown Court.
Prosecutor Beccy McGregor said Halliburton, aged 59 from Cumbria, gave a friend his car before he departed for a new life in the Philippines.
As we have previously reported, the car contained a laptop and computer hard-drive, which Halliburton told his friend he could also keep.
However, when the friend started to use the equipment, he “stumbled upon” files containing recordings of child sexual abuse.
“He was shocked upon opening one of the videos to find that it contained child pornography,” said Ms McGregor.
“It was on that date that the defendant was due to fly to the Philippines. He was arrested that evening at Manchester Airport, at the flight gate, and prevented from leaving the country,” she added.
Halliburton had another laptop with him which also contained child pornography. Across the three devices, there were 74 examples of category A — the most serious — including 71 movies; 112 category B, mainly videos; and 23 category C pictures. Some featured the sexual abuse of boys as young as seven.
Halliburton admitted making the illegal content between mid-2011 and March this year. He also accessed sexually explicit stories about young children, and the search terms in his browser history included “rape of a boy”.
Halliburton told police he “forgot” the images were there, and denied gaining sexual gratification from them. His intention had been to relocated to the Philippines to live with his partner, whom he had been in a relationship with since 2016.
Paul Tweddle, defending, said: “He fully accepts that his actions were legally and morally wrong. He has pleaded guilty.
“He now understands that these are victims; they are young children who have been exploited.”
He also said that while prison would punish the defendant, “a suspended sentence would be more effective”.
Recorder Julie Clemitson suspended an eight-month jail term for 18 months, and ordered Halliburton to complete rehabilitation and a four-month night-time curfew.
According to the Cumbria Crack, he must sign the sex offenders’ register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.
“Every time you downloaded and viewed any of these movies — as many of them were — you were driving an industry which exploits, damages and abuses children,” Recorder Clemitson said.
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