Businessman caught downloading indecent images of children after mechanics find photo during MOT
A respected businessman in the equestrian world was caught "red handed" downloading child porn after mechanics stumbled across an indecent photo in the boot of his car during its MOT.
Police found Peter Wingham, 60, in the process of downloading two indecent movies on to his home computer after he was reported by his local garage.
Officers carried out the raid at Wingham's home in Market Rasen after the mechanics looked in his boot when the car failed its MOT test.
Justin Wigoder, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court: "Wingham had taken his car for its MOT. The rear brake light was faulty so the mechanics opened the boot.
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"When they opened the boot, inside was a printed photograph of a naked child. They called the police."
Police were sent to Wingham's home and he admitted what he had done straight away.
When an officer knocked on his door and asked him if he had a computer Wingham replied: "Yes its upstairs, it's on. I better come clean and explain. I have some stuff on it now."
When the officer asked if it was children Wingham answered "yes", Mr Wigoder added.
Wingham was found to be downloading two indecent films. In total police found 543 indecent images of children on the computer which included some moving videos.
Of the 543 images 368 were at level one, the lowest seriousness, 72 at level two, eight at level three and 91 at level four. No images at the most serious category of level five were found.
Wingham admitted what he had done during police interview telling officers he was "devastated." Wingham said he had stopped looking at the images for a period but had then relapsed.
Mr Wigoder said Wingham admitted to the officers: "It's going to change my life but I've got to say I've been expecting the knock at the door."
The court heard Wingham had no previous convictions and had been "very respected" in the equestrian business for many years.
Wingham, of Lancaster Drive, Market Rasen, pleaded guilty to having 543 indecent photographs of children in December 2011, two charges of making an indecent image of a child in 2008 and again in 2010. He also pleaded guilty to six charges of making an indecent video of a child in November and December 2011.
He was sentenced to a three year community order in which he will be under the supervision of a probation officer, ordered to complete the community sex offenders treatment course and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order for five years.
Passing sentence Judge Michael Heath told Wingham he was "extremely fortunate" to avoid a jail sentence.
Judge Heath told him: "It appears when your marriage broke up you turned for sexual satisfaction to adult pornography. You then began to download child pornography."