A Lytham pervert investigated by Cumbria Police was found with sickening child abuse videos of infants as young as four, Preston Crown Court heard.
Sam Partington was hauled before the court after he hacked into a woman’s social media accounts of stole private photos of her.
When police searched the 30-year-old’s devices they found hundreds of indecent images and videos of children being sexually abused.
Preston Crown Court was told Partington hacked into a woman’s Facebook and Snapchat accounts and stole photos and then changed login details to prevent the victim from accessing her own accounts.
The court heard he stored hundreds of indecent images on three devices, including an iPhone.
He hid files inside what appeared to be a calculator app.
Passing sentence, Recorder Daniel Prowse said: “Each one of the children shown in those images and videos is a real child being sexually abused. Some involved the most serious and damaging types of sexual abuse. Some of the children depicted were particularly vulnerable due to their age. The harm, both physical and psychological, that is caused to children who are the subject of this sort of abuse can be lifelong in nature.’
The judge accepted evidence that the Covid lockdown and Partington losing his job contributed to the offending because the defendant was spending long periods alone in his bedroom. He said Partington had a ‘good job’ and was seeking support for his mental health.
The court heard the defendant had denied having a sexual interest in children but Recorder Prowse said that the evidence in this case demonstrates comprehensively to the contrary. He added, ‘I do remind myself, however, that it is not uncommon for people with such a sexual interest to come to terms with the enormity of that realisation.’
Partington, Cecil Street in Lytham, was jailed for 29 months for a number of offences, including hacking offences under the Computer Misuse Act, s170 Data Protection Act and making indecent images of children.
Cumbria Police said the investigation forms part of Operation Alliance, the force’s ongoing response to serious and organised crime.
Detective Constable Jon Hill from Cumbria Constabulary’s Cyber and Digital Crime Unit said Partington ‘used technology as a weapon to exert control’.