At his sentencing hearing yesterday in the Royal Court, Rene Jean Pirouet Travers, of St Clement, was said to be at high risk of reoffending.
Travers was arrested last June on suspicion of child sexual grooming, and when the police searched his computer, 140 still images and 92 movies were found.
Crown Advocate Richard Pedley, prosecuting, said that when the police arrested Travers he was suffering from extreme alcohol withdrawal and had to be taken to hospital.
The advocate said that while the defendant had been questioned with regard to sexual grooming after meeting a 13-year-old girl, he was not charged with this offence.
‘The girl is well known to Island agencies and regularly goes missing from her address at night,’ he said.
‘During one of these events she met the defendant. They subsequently stayed in contact via Facebook.
‘No charges have been drafted in relation to any grooming offence. However, the contact between them is of concern due to her vulnerability and the defendant’s alcohol use,’ he said.
The indecent images included 19 movies which were classed as category 4, the second-highest on the scale evaluating the severity of images of child sex abuse.
The majority of the material was lower on the scale.
Crown Advocate Pedley said Travers had searched for indecent material featuring nine-year-olds and used an acronym ‘well known in paedophile circles as meaning pre-teen hardcore’.
Much of the material seemed to come from a Russian or Eastern European studio producing indecent images of children, he added.
A social inquiry report prepared for the court found that Travers was at high risk of sexual recidivism and had ‘excused’ himself for looking at the images by rationalising that many people would have accessed them.
Advocate Alison Brown, defending, said Travers was beginning to show remorse for what he had done and had stopped himself from looking at the images of sexual abuse months before his arrest.
She said he had acted out of ‘morbid curiosity fuelled by alcohol’.
‘It was unfortunately a morbid curiosity that he was unable to resist,’ Advocate Brown said.
She said the defendant may have excused himself at the time but now wants to ‘sort himself out’.
During sentencing, Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq, who was sitting with Jurats Sally Sparrow and Elizabeth Dulake, said real children suffered violence and degradation because of such offences.
‘You supported the environment and market in which the images were created,’ he said.
In addition to the 20-month sentence for one count of making indecent images of children, Travers was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years and is banned from being alone in the company of children under 16 for the same time period.
The Deputy Bailiff said the need for that restriction was ‘indicated by the circumstances in which your offending was brought to light’.