A man who told investigators “you stop being a child at 12” after being found in possession of more than 1,000 images of the most serious child abuse has been sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for two years.
Simon Colburn, 50, of Caldicot, Monmouthshire, shared his view with National Crime Agency officers after being arrested in November 2015 when he lived in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.
The NCA received information about men sharing indecent images of children. Enquiries led investigators to Colburn’s flat which was searched and computers and pen drives seized. A trawl through his electronic devices showed he possessed 1,290 Category A images, 782 Category B images, 2,193 Category C images and four classed as “extreme” involving animals.
Officers discovered Colburn had searched for pre-teen material, had file sharing software on his laptop and that he had uploaded 21 files. In interview he admitted having images of girls aged 12-14 in bikinis but claimed he could not recall where he got them online. He stated he believed childhood ends when a child is 12 but in a later interview said he had stopped “thinking that way” and was contemplating seeking help for his actions from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. He ended his interview by asking if he was going to prison.
Colburn originally denied the offences but pleaded guilty in January to three counts of making indecent images of children, possession of indecent images of children and possession of extreme pornography.
He was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court where he was also given a rehabilitation requirement for 50 days, ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and given a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.
NCA senior investigating officer Andy Peach said: “Colburn had thousands of disgusting images, held the twisted view that childhood ended when you’re 12 and originally denied the offences.
“He only pleaded guilty the day before his trial was due to start.
“Viewing child sexual abuse is a vile crime and we do everything we can to bring those doing it to justice.”
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation is a registered child protection charity dedicating to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused.
It works with entire families affected by sexual abuse, including adult male and female sexual abusers, young people with inappropriate sexual behaviour, victims of abuse, and other family members.
More information for adults concerned about their own or someone else’s behaviour is available from the Stop It Now! helpline 0n 0808 1000 900 or from www.StopItNow.org.uk