Supervision order for computer analyst who incited girl to perform web sex act

A PERVERT was found to 
have tried to incite a 15-year-old to commit a sex act over 
webcam after police seized his computers on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

West Yorkshire Police officers made the discovery after executing a search warrant at the home of Jonathan Gatward, 47, in November 2010.

Leeds Crown Court heard analysis of his computer equipped showed 95 per cent of his friends on a social networking site were under the age of 16.

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Gatward, who works as a freelance computer analyst was found to have downloaded more than 200 illegal images and movies of children.

The court heard ten of the images and movies were at level 4 – the second most serious category.

Investigations also showed that Gatward had been in contact with a teenage girl via a webcam and she told him she was just 15 years old on one occasion.

Despite believing her to be under the age of consent Gatward encouraged her to carry out a sexual act in front of the camera.

Gatward, of Barcroft Road, Huddersfield, pleaded guilty to two offences of attempting to incite a child to commit a sexual act and 12 of making indecent images of a child.

Gregory Hoare, for Gatward, said “These are always difficult cases. They always have an enormously sordid and distasteful side to them.

“It is obvious that Mr Gregory was contacting people over 
the internet on a fairly regular basis.”

The barrister said Gatward had co-operated with the police as soon as he was arrested and told officers would they could expect to find on his computer equipment.

Mr Hoare said his client had become addicted to adult pornography and the “boundaries had become blurred” between what was legal and what was illegal.

The court heard Gatward was full of remorse and shame for what he had done but his wife was continuing to stand by him.

He will be able to continue his work in geographical mapping, specialising in waste management despite the convictions.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC made Gatward the subject of a three-year supervision order which includes him attending 
an internet sex offender programme.

Gatward was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order banning him from using the internet for social networking or visiting chat rooms.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the next five years.