Suspended sentence for Barking crystal meth paedophile

David Michael Bell, right, walks free with his boyfriend after receiving a suspended sentence for ho

David Michael Bell, right, walks free with his boyfriend after receiving a suspended sentence for hoarding indecent images of children Picture: Sebastian Murphy-Bates - Credit: Archant

A former crystal meth addict who watched videos of babies being sexually abused as he binged on drugs has been spared jail.

David Michael Bell, from Barking, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday Picture: John S

David Michael Bell, from Barking, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday Picture: John Stillwell/PA - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

David Michael Bell, 48, wept in court after he was given a suspended sentence on Friday for hoarding 284 indecent images of children, babies and animals having intercourse.

The images, along with nine indecent video clips, were discovered on Bell’s Toshiba laptop at his home in Westbury Road, Barking, as part of a police investigation targeting internet paedophile rings.

Bell admitted to downloading the files using the online alias East End Guy 1968, telling police his use of crystal meth, which he used to escape depression, made him more “open-minded” about sex, leading him to explore child pornography.

Recorder William Clegg QC heard how this was Bell’s first foray into paedophilia, though he admitted to finding 16-year-old boys attractive and liked to perform role play with sexual partners in which one would play a father and the other his son.


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He was told of Bell’s disappointment that he could never fulfil his ambition of becoming a teacher due to his conviction as the defendant waved his arms in frustration and his boyfriend nodded supportively from Snaresbrook Crown Court’s public gallery.

Mr Clegg gave Bell full credit for pleading guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images and one count of possessing extreme pornographic videos, acknowledging he had not accessed the files since New Year’s Day 2015.

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But he said Bell’s consumption of the images made him complicit in the abuse of the victims.

“People never access this type of child pornography when the children haven’t been subjected to the ordeal of being filmed,” he said.

“That said you did not access any of the pornography on your computer for some 13 months before your arrest.”

Bell was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register and received a jail sentence of eight years, two of four years and one year respectively to run concurrently, suspended for two years.

Mr Clegg imposed a £140 victim surcharge and ordered the destruction of Bell’s laptop.

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