Judge dramatically halts court case after he recognises paedophile in the dock

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A judge was forced to stop sentencing a paedophile who made indecent images of children and owned a video of a man sexually abusing a dog.

Christopher Jeacock, 37, of Bowdon, Manchester had also pled guilty to the possession of a prohibited image of a child and possession of an extreme pornographic image.

However, during his sentencing at Minshull Street Crown Court yesterday (May 10), Judge Mark Savill stopped the proceedings and claimed the name had "rung a bell".

Manchester Evening News reports that the judge, after confirming that Jeacock worked for Hale United FC, stated he could not continue sentencing him after realising he knew him.

Judge Savill said: “I can’t do this case. It’s not your fault – very unfortunate but it’s one of the prices we pay for local justice. Bottom line is there cannot appear to be any kind of prejudice or advantage to you by virtue of any connection you or I may have.’’

The case was then adjourned to be dealt with by another judge.

Katherine Wright, prosecuting, said that officers from Greater Manchester Police became aware that a social media account linked to Jeacock had been used to post indecent images online.

A warrant was executed at his home, which he shared with his parents, and he was arrested and his devices were searched.

Whilst the police were searching his bedroom, he told them that his parents had "nothing to do with this" and he knew nothing about the images of children.

Officers seized an iPad and two iPhones. He was interviewed that same day on March 25 of last year and admitted it was likely that he had viewed the images.

“He said he had used the Kik messenger site to enter chat groups where images were shared and he had clicked on Dropbox links which automatically downloaded into his personal Dropbox,” Ms Wright said.

“He stated he knew they were illegal material and should have done something about them. He accepted the devices were his and he was solely responsible for its contents.”

A search of the iPad revealed 16 category A images, 10 category B images and 15 category C images, which were all inaccessible. On one iPhone there were seven inaccessible category C images, and on the other there were two accessible category C images and five inaccessible category C images.

The police also analysed Jeacock’s Dropbox account, which revealed 113 category A images, 75 category C images and 1,044 category C images. In total, 1,900 images were recovered.

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The court heard that the videos depicted children as young as three being sexually abused by adults and one of the extreme pornographic videos showed a man having sex with a dog.

Sentencing, Recorder Ciaran Rankin said he had read a letter from Jeacock, his mother, the Safer Lives Programme note of attendance and his presentence report.

“You have accepted that you are responsible,” he said.

Jeacock, of Royal Gardens, Bowdon, was handed a three year community order, 200 hours unpaid work, 10 days of rehabilitation activity requirements and an Accreddited Sex Offender Programme.

He was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and the Sex Offenders Register, both for five years.

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