AFTER the sixth time of asking, a depraved pensioner who downloaded more than a thousand indecent images of children, appeared before an Isle of Wight Crown Court judge.
Simon Hoare, of no fixed addess, was brought into court from St Mary's Hospital, Newport, this morning (Tuesday), after failing to appear for sentencing on several previous occasions.
At a plea and trial preparation hearing last month, the 68-year-old admitted to three counts of making an indecent image of a child, one of making an extreme pornographic image and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child.
As a result of his failure to attend court on no fewer than five previous occasions, Hoare also admitted to two further counts of failing to attend court on July 3 and August 2.
A warrant for his arrest issued on Thursday last week (14), was withdrawn the following day after Hoare, with no previous convictions, was discovered at St Mary's recovering from pneumonia and a throat operation.
Regarding the sexual offences, police carried out a raid on Hoare's former Ryde home on October 28, 2021, and seized his electronic devices, said Annabel Hazlitt, prosecuting.
On them, police discovered the following:
Two Category A images (the most serious kind).
Three Category B images.
1,202 Category C images.
One extreme pornographic image.
Two prohibited images of children (cartoons).
When interviewed, Hoare said he had been downloading indecent images of children for two to three years, but investigators discovered it had been going on since 2013.
For Hoare, Jim Osborne said his client was motivated to engage with probation to address his offending behaviour.
"What he's done is wrong. He deeply regrets it," Mr Osborne added.
Judge Susan Evans handed Hoare two years' probation, which includes 35 rehabilitation sessions, and an order to pay a £200 fine.
Hoare was also made subject to, for the next five years, a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and the Sex Offenders' Register.
Judge Evans said: "Those are real children suffering real and horrific abuse. This court doesn't know what happens to those children, but it can be quite certain they suffer quite severe physical harm and in almost all cases, severe psychological harm.
"It is appalling and the public simply don't understand why anyone would want to look at that sort of material and search for it."