A MARKETING consultant from Stratford exchanged messages with another man discussing sexual activities he wanted to engage in with the other man’s eight-year-old son.
Ian Wivell had also taken part in chat rooms in which he had been sent images of boys as young as five being abused, a judge at Warwick Crown Court has heard.
But 50-year-old Wivell, of Badgers Way, Bishopton, escaped being jailed after pleading guilty to four charges of making indecent images and one of publishing an extreme article.
Instead, he was sentenced to 14 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and to take part in a rehabilitation activity for 30 days.
Prosecutor Peter Grice said in June last year police executed a warrant at Wivell’s home and seized his computer tower and two hard drives.
He co-operated with the officers and admitted he had been using chat rooms which had led to other people sending him indecent images of children.
Wivell also admitted he had taken part in a sexualised conversation with another person about boys aged seven and eight.
Police found a total of 105 indecent images of pre-pubescent boys, all of which had been deleted after being viewed and were not accessible without specialist software.
Wivell’s i-Pad was also seized, and on it was an exchange of messages with someone called Carl W about him wanting to take part in sexual activities with Carl W’s eight-year-old son.
But Mr Grice made the point: “We don’t know if it was just fantasy or if the child existed.”
Matthew Barnes, defending, said there were letters from the Lucy Faithful Foundation, a charity which helps sex offenders, and from a counsellor who Wivell was seeing privately.
He added Wivell, whose partner was standing by him, was a self-employed marketing consultant.
Mr Barnes said: “When the police visited his address, he could not have been more co-operative. He immediately said the police would find some images and provided all his passwords.
“Simply waiting for all these months has been punishment in itself. He has taken laudable and active steps to deal with his issues, he’s completed a Lucy Faithful Foundation course and has sought out and funded counselling.
“He has found it hard, but he has found it helpful. He now feels he understands why it happened.”
Mr Barnes added there was no evidence that the conversations with Carl W ‘were anything other than fantasy.’
Sentencing Wivell, and ordering him to register as a sex offender for ten years, Recorder Anupama Thompson told him: “There are children in the images as young as five to eight years of age, and there is discernible pain on the faces of the children.
“You are a man of positive good character. You have never come before the courts until now. You were co-operative with the police, and I accept you have, of your own volition, undertaken a course to address your behaviour.
“What concerns me most is the conversation. That to my mind presents a real concern.
“You engage in a conversation relating to sexual offences being perpetrated on the eight-year-old son of the person with whom you are talking. I am told it is not possible to find whether that was a real person or just fantasy.
“I have concluded I can just suspend the sentence, but be in no doubt, it is a very close-run thing.”