A MAN from Chulmleigh has been sent on a sex offenders’ treatment course after being caught with child abuse images for the second time.

Simon Crow was already on the sex offenders’ register and being monitored by police under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order when he was found with the images during a check on his mobile telephone.

He had one image which showed very serious abuse, eight which showed less serious sexual activity and 83 which showed children in sexual poses, Exeter Crown Court was told.

His police offender manager also found a programme on his phone named C Cleaner which could be used to erase electronic evidence of earlier searches and their results.

Crow, aged 62, of Beacon Rise, Chulmleigh, admitted making, by downloading, indecent images of children and breaking a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

He was jailed for a year, suspended for two years and sent on the I Horizon sexual offenders’ treatment programme by Judge James Adkin, who imposed a new, tighter SHPO which will allow the police to monitor his online activity more closely.

He told him: “On the face of it, this is imprisonable offending. The reports suggest you seek to use looking at these images as an emotional crutch in times of stress. It is time to break that habit and the only way to do it is this programme.

“I am giving you one chance. If you are found to possess these images again and come back in front of me, it will be prison, no matter what the circumstances. This is an opportunity to rid yourself of that habit.”

Miss Zoe Kuyken, prosecuting, said the SHPO was imposed for 10 years in 2014 when Crow was convicted of possessing and distributing indecent images.

Police found more images while monitoring him in 2021 and also detected an evidence elimination app on his phone. Both put him in breach of the SHPO.

Miss Hollie Gilbery, defending, said Crow has caring responsibilities for his brother. She said he started looking at the images as a mechanism for coping with psychological pressures.

He has been assessed as suitable for a treatment programme by the probation service and he is keen go on it because he wants to change his behaviour.