A self-employed tutor who was found to have bestiality images on his computer equipment has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Leeds Crown Court heard police went to John Noel’s home in Park Drive, Huddersfield on March 18 because of suspicious activity on his use of the internet.
Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said the house was searched and a laptop and two external hard drives were seized. When they were examined 39 moving images involving adults and animals were found.
When Noel was interviewed he accepted downloading the images and said he had been viewing that sort of material for three to four years and was not aware it was a criminal offence.
Hannah Lynch, representing Noel, told the court he worked as a self-employed tutor with children and undergraduates which he hoped to resume in the future.
She said: “The offences arise out of his ignorance that the possession of such images is an offence. He has taught in many different capacities.”
Ms Lynch said he had some mental health issues in the past and it was suggested then he do tutoring.
She added: “He is mortified he has committed a criminal offence. Had he realised he would have steered clear of them.”
Noel, 56, admitted possessing extreme pornography and was given two months in prison suspended for two years and to attend 10 rehabilitation activity days. He was also ordered to pay £340 prosecution costs.
Judge Guy Kearl QC told him: “I sentence you on the basis you did not appreciate this was a criminal offence, something you mentioned from the earliest stages, nevertheless it is a criminal offence and a serious one.”
“Without people viewing them there would be no market for this sort of thing.”