A man who kept sexts sent between his teenage stepdaughter and her boyfriend because he wanted the police to act on them has been convicted.
The 57-year-old Ashan Ortell was convicted of possessing child pornography and placed on the sex offenders register. He was sentenced in the County Court this week after he admitted to copying the naked images on to a computer and USB stick. He must now report to police annually, disclose all computer usernames and social media accounts and notify authorities if he wants to go on holidays for more than a weekend.
Ortell caught his stepdaughter sexting her boyfriend, seized her phone and reported the matter to her school authorities and the police. He returned the phone to her but not before he copied the 18 images to a USB and computer because he wanted police to investigate the matter further.
Ortell said he kept the images until he received a “satisfactory response” by police who had warned him that keeping the pictures stored was an offence. The police searched his home and seized two USBs and a laptop containing the images then charged him with possessing child pornograph.
Under child pornography laws, Ortell could have faced a maximum five years in prison, but Judge Patrick said any sentence must be proportionate to the severity of the crime. The court heard that Ortell had no prior criminal history and had excellent prospects of rehabilitation. Judge Patrick said the effect on the girl or her boyfriend was unclear as no victim impact statement was given.
Since he plead guilty, Ortell was told he would have to comply with the requirements of the sex offenders register for at least eight years. Registered sex offenders must regularly report their whereabouts and are not allowed to work with children.