A high-flying businessman has been jailed for downloading child-abuse images.
James Edward Milner, 51, of Scrayingham, near Malton, pleaded guilty to eight separate charges of downloading, possessing or distributing indecent images at York Crown Court on Friday.
Six of the images found by police were classified Level 4 images – on the higher end of the indecent scale.
Three others were classified Level 1, on the lowest end of the scale, and one other was Level 2.
The evidence against Milner included two indecent videos showing indecent images of children.
Mr Milner, who runs a gas-supply company, was arrested in January last year and initially denied the offence.
Prosecutor Graeme Gaston said that when police seized Milner’s computer they initially found nothing on it, but it transpired that the businessman had destroyed his previous two computers so they couldn’t be analysed for indecent images.
Milner was charged in May last year after police were handed a memory stick containing two files, dated December 2012, which contained indecent images of children and a Skype session in which he and another individual exchanged fantasies about gross acts they wanted to carry out on children.
One of the files on the memory stick showed Milner carrying out a lewd act on himself and distributing this - along with acts he wanted to perform on children - during a warped web chat.
Mr Gaston said the two videos seen by police were streamed from a website showing Milner on screen removing his clothes and performing a lewd act on himself.
Taryn Turner, mitigating, said: “It is clear that there is an underlying difficulty that Mr Milner has, that has yet to be addressed.
“He is a highly-intelligent and successful man and runs his own business. There are difficulties in his own relationship with his wife (but) she is standing by him and being supportive, as are other family members.”
Ms Turner said the sick chat that Milner had with another individual on Skype was the only exchange which constituted distribution of indecent images.
The court was told that the images possessed and distributed by Milner focused on girls aged 10 to 12, but there were some references to children even younger.
Some of the images found on the memory stick showed penetrative sexual activity involving children.
It was the second time that Milner had been convicted of possessing child-abuse images. In March 2008, he was convicted of five counts of making indecent images between January and August 2007.
These included 16 Level 1 images, 11 classified Level 2, and 12 classed as Level 4.
In this case, Milner had again used internet chat rooms to discuss child abuse. He was given a six-month jail sentence and a five-year Sexual Offenders Prevention Order, which prohibited him from misusing his computer or using chat rooms to discuss child abuse.
Judge Stephen Ashurst told Milner: “You are an intelligent man with a supportive family and with a degree of success in business.
“You have many of the advantages not open to many of the defendants that appear before these courts.
“But, to an extent, it appears that you have led something of a double life – the life of man who has who has pursued an interest in internet pornography, and viewing and sharing images of child abuse.
“One might have thought that your arrest, conviction and public shaming in 2008 (when Milner was first caught downloading images) would have deterred you from repeating (these acts).
“I have no doubt that these proceedings, for your family, have a dreadful feeling of deja vu.”
Mr Ashurst said the new charges suggested that Milner had an “uncontrollable” appetite for viewing pornographic images on the internet and sharing his fantasies online.
Mr Ashurst said that Milner appeared to have developed a particular interest in viewing lurid images of girls aged 10 to 12.
In sentencing Milner to 21 months in prison, Mr Ashurst said he was taking into account the age of the children involved, the defendant’s previous conviction for viewing indecent material, and the fact that Milner had committed them while on a sexual-offences prevention order.
Mr Ashurst subjected Milner to a new sexual-offences prevention order for 10 years to address “these very serious problems in your make-up.”