judge doesn’t jail repeat offender paedophile caught with horrific videos of a toddler

Court heard one victim in Craig Bainbridge’s clips as young as two – but Teesside’s top judge said he’s better off being dealt with in the community

Craig Bainbridge
Craig Bainbridge (Photo: Gazette)

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A paedophile caught with shocking indecent footage of a toddler has been spared jail.

That’s despite Craig Bainbridge being caught with indecent images for the second time.

Police found a stash of sick images on the 37-year-old’s Dell laptop – including some of the most serious.

But Teesside’s top judge said it was “more constructive” to allow him his freedom.

Prosecutors claimed Bainbridge’s computer contained films, including a 90 second clip involving a child aged as young as two.

“The child is effectively a baby,” said prosecutor Harry Hadfield.

The prosecutor said other clips in Bainbridge’s possession included a young girl aged as young as six.

He had the images of child abuse despite being a dad himself.

And Mr Hadfield said Bainbridge had deliberately sought out the footage on the device he’d bought on Gumtree.

“There’s evidence that the defendant used Google Chrome to search for images that were indicative of child abuse,” he added.

Desperate Bainbridge tried claiming he only downloaded the filth following a “bad day”, in which police nicked and later released him over a burglary last May.

His solicitor Robert Mochrie claimed it caused a “relapse”.

“He had taken drugs on one night when he was going through a difficult period, and he looked at these images,” Mr Mochrie claimed.

“The following morning when he woke up in sobriety, concerned and upset… he went to the police and self reported what he had done.”

But during the Teesside Crown Court hearing, police were called – and they revealed the footage had appeared on his computer over the course of several months.

The sentencing hearing was told heroin-user Bainbridge had a history of legal problems involving illicit images.

He’d been convicted of breaching orders by using software which enabled him to scour the ‘dark web’.

And he’d previously been convicted in 2012 of possessing indecent images.

He appeared for sentencing after admitting three offences of making indent images, which included seven labelled Category A.

But his 16 month jail term was suspended for two years, after a Middlesbrough-based scheme urged a judge to keep him in the community.

Support worker Richard Harris, who works for a Barnardo’s-backed Teesside project, said Bainbridge had been getting help since his arrest and was making progress.

“It is beginning to bring him out of his social isolation,” said Mr Harris.

He said Bainbridge, who now lived in a Pierremont Crescent flat in Darlington, was coming over to Middlesbrough for meetings – something he once wouldn’t do.

Giving him a final chance, Recorder of Teesside Simon Bourne-Arton said: “It’s not a victimless crime – the victims are young children who are forced to be filmed or have pictures taken.

“At some stage you are going to have to be taken a hold of and get counselling and assistance for the problems you have.”

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