Weston man admits to possessing indecent images of children on laptop

Vernon Lane was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Vernon Lane was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary - Credit: Archant

A Weston-super-Mare man has suffered ‘an appalling fall from grace’ after admitting to possessing indecent images of children.

Vernon Lane, of Hill View Road, was charged with three counts of making an indecent photograph of a child.

The images were classified as category A, B and C but Lane was only charged for the category A picture, which is deemed the most severe.

Lane was handed an eight-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Bristol Crown Court on August 23.

He was not given a supporting penalty for making the category B and C images.

The court was told Lane, age 76, downloaded the three images earlier this year, and once his laptop was seized police found an extensive internet search history for similar images which dated back to 2016.

His defence team said it had been a ‘distressing’ time for Lane, after his crimes came to light.

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All of Lane’s future online activity will be monitored by the police and search restrictions will be put in place.

Lane will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the next 10 years to ensure his behaviour does not transgress. He will sign the sex offenders register for the next 10 years and will have to undertake 45 days of rehabilitation as part of a community order.

A barring order for safeguarding reasons will also be in place against him.

George Threlfell, defending, said: “I think he has learnt his lesson, he has been very shocked and has had some difficulty coming to terms with what has happened.

“The process of being discovered and interviewed by police has been very distressing.”

Judge Martin Picton added: “The numbers are not enormous but it is apparent from context that this has been something you have searched for in recent years.

“The images are of real victims and children suffering harm and to take pleasure in that is a terrible thing.

“You will work with the appropriate services to educate yourself as there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.”

The judge deemed Lane to be of ‘good character’ and someone who has suffered ‘an appalling fall from grace’.

Lane had worked as a clerk at Airbus UK in Filton for 15 years, mainly based on the A380 project.

He was also ordered to pay £100 in prosecution charges.