A YOUNG west Cumbrian man has been put on the Sex Offender Register after he downloaded images of children as young as four being sexually abused.

Cameron Hodgson, 21, who committed the offences when he was 19, admitted downloading 24 indecent child images, including 10 which were classified as Category A, the most serious kind.

The defendant, of Windermere Road, Whitehaven, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Brenan Burke told the court that the offences were committed in Maryport between December 26, 2021, and March 20 the following year. The barrister said the ages of children being abused ranged from four to 14.

“He did volunteer the pin number of his iPhone [to the police],” said Mr Burke. He added that Hodgson had no previous convictions.

Defence barrister Marion Weir presented the court with character references for the defendant, pointing out that he had never before been in trouble.

Judge Nicholas Barker noted that the defendant’s pre-sentence report described him as a “somewhat isolated individual,” who had used the internet to contact others who provided him with links to the illegal images.

He had undoubtedly known what he was doing was wrong, said the judge.

“It wasn’t a single offence,” the judge told Hodgson. “It occurred on a number of occasions and you have therefore demonstrated firstly that you have poor judgement; and secondly that are motivated in an unhealthy way to view children in a sexual way.

“That is concerning indeed.”

But the defendant’s age – 19 when he committed the offence – had to be considered and also the remorse he had expressed. The judge imposed a three year community order with requirements.

They are that Hodgson completes a sexual offender treatment programme to address his sexual motivations, 15 rehabilitation activity days, and 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.

The defendant will be on the Sex Offender Register for five years; and the iPhone he used to access the indecent child images will be forfeited.