WhatsApp Pervert caught with Child Abuse Images has his Family's Support

WhatsApp Pervert caught with Child Abuse Images has his Family's Support

Pervert Manoj Arachchige was caught with hundreds of sickening child abuse images in a WhatsApp group.

The 30-year-old was arrested after police received a tip-off and seized his phone. It was analysed and contained 240 category A images - the most serious - 123 at category B and 150 category C images. And the examination showed the defendant had shared one category A image. 

Now Arachchige has been sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for 20 months, at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. Prosecutor Rachel Pennington said police attended the defendant's home on July 16 last year after receiving information and he was arrested for possession of indecent images. Miss Pennington said: "His phone and laptop were seized and both were forensically examined. There were still and moving images found on the telephone. There was nothing of that description on the laptop. There were a total of 240 category A still and moving images, 123 at category B and 150 at category C. "One category A video file had been distributed on March 19, 2020. It was the only one shown as being shared."

child abuse images

The court heard the defendant was a member of a WhatsApp group which had 504 participants and 3,160 files had been shared. Arachchige, now of Wigston, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of children and distributing an indecent image of a child. Anis Ali, mitigating, said the defendant is deeply remorseful and regrets his actions.

Mr Ali said: "He has learnt a salutary lesson. He maintains that he has no interest in indecent images of children but he does have an interest in mainstream pornography. "He was given no notice that the group was likely to include the distribution or sharing of images of children. When he was invited to join he did. "His device was set in such a way that any information sent to him or the group was automatically saved to his phone. He had not appreciated every image was able to be stored in his device. He did not appreciate how many images were being sent or the extent and nature of the images sent."

"He accepts his wrongdoing. He has voluntarily desisted and not involved himself in any form of internet activity. He has the support of his partner and family. He is particularly embarrassed. He is ashamed. But he is willing to take on all the assistance and guidance he is being offered." As part of the suspended sentence Arachchige must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 55 days, a sex offender group work programme and 150 unpaid work.

Judge David Fletcher said: "You were not looking at pictures of dolls or mannequins. You were looking at real children. They have been horribly exploited so these images can be viewed worldwide. You were looking at these images as part of a WhatsApp group exchanging these images." Arachchige was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for 10 years and was placed on the sex offenders' register for the same period. He was ordered to pay £670 costs.

Stoke-on-Trent Live