By Daily Mail Reporter
Paedophile who downloaded extreme child porn spared prison after judge says it will make him WORSE
A judge has allowed a young paedophile to walk free from court after making the controversial claim a spell behind bars would only corrupt him further.
Christopher Arno, 21, had 874 vile images of children stored on his computer when he was arrested at his grandmother’s house in Kent in May.
The images included 200 graded at Level Four, which includes scenes of child rape, and 17 at Level Five, which can include scenes of torture and sadism.
When arrested, Arno told police he had downloaded the files to ‘pass the time’ and said he wasn’t proud of himself.
He pleaded guilty to 13 charges of possessing indecent images.
Sentencing Mr Arno at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Alistair McCreath described the images as ‘revolting’ and said a prison sentence of up to 18 months could be handed down.
However, he opted to let him walk free with a 12 month community order to keep him away from other paedophiles.
Judge McCreath said: ‘Right-thinking people are revolted at people looking at this material.
‘Understandably they think people looking at it should go to prison.
‘The difficulty is that the prison sentence I could pass on you would be really short and you would no doubt come out worse than when you went in.
‘Spending your time with paedophiles and other sexual offenders – if there is one way of guaranteeing to make someone like you worse it is by locking you up with other people who are of that nature.
‘You would come out worse and perhaps pose some danger to the public which I don’t think you do at present.
‘I want to take a step with you designed to minimise the risk you now pose.
‘The best way of protecting the public is not by locking you up for a short period of time but by making you subject to supervision within the community.
‘You are still young, only 21 years of age and because of that I believe with the right sort of intervention there’s good hope that you will actively learn not to look at this material.’
Judge McCreath also banned him from using a computer that doesn’t store the history of sites visited for five years.
He was also told he must have one-to-one counselling.
Judge McCreath added: ‘The images you looked at were images of real children suffering real abuse. These aren’t just pictures – this is a live history of sexual abuse of children.
‘Just reflect on that. Reflect on how these children are victims. When you and others look at this material you are complicit. You are taking your part in making them victims.
Mr Arno, of Birchington Close, Bexley Heath, Kent, was sentenced to a 12 month community order and was told he must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the next seven years.