A computer whiz was caught red-handed with 119 sick images of children on his works computer when an employee’s girlfriend turned whistleblower.
Darren Stark, 35, of Bridlington, led a double life as proprietor of Easy Technology supplying and repairing computers while at the same time collecting images of underage boys.
Hull Crown Court heard a trainee at Easy Technology went into work on February 9 2014 and looked at Stark’s computer. He was aware Stark had access to the latest films. Easy Technology of Hilderthorpe Road, Bridlington, claims to be the town’s premier IT sales service and repair centre.
During the course of his search for new releases he found indecent images of two underage boys posing in front of a web cam. Stark’s trainee did not know what to do. Two days later the employee’s girlfriend wanted to know what was troubling her boyfriend so he showed her the images.
Without hesitation she contacted the police. She described her boyfriend as “shaken, upset and sickened by it all.”
Stark of Kirkgate, Bridlington, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of 119 indecent images of children between October 2013 and February 2014 and one charge of possession of two extreme pornographic images of children with animals. Defence barrister Stephen Robinson said: “It is a serious matter. He is well-aware of the possibility of a custodial sentence. While he cannot explain his motives for looking at these images, he is contrite and very sorry for what he has done. He has expressed genuine remorse in his pre-sentence report. He accepts the images are not something which stand alone and the children have been abused.
“At the time his business was not going well and he was an extremely heavy drinker.”
Sentencing Judge Simon Jack told Stark: “You are to be sentenced for serious offences which in normal circumstances carry a sentence of imprisonment ranging from three-months to two years. I have read a lot about you and taken into account you have no previous conviction and you were going through a difficult period in your life. You have taken steps to sort yourself and shown victim empathy and remorse. Although there has to be a prison sentence, I can suspend it. I hope this will be the last time you attend before court.”
Stark was given a six-month suspended prison sentence. He was made the subject of a five-year Sexual Offences’ Prevention Order. He must sign on the National Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years. Stark refused to answer questions outside court and hid his face from photographers.