A CHRISTCHURCH man who lives with lifesize dolls found a dead sheep on a farm and took it home for a photoshoot on his bed in which he “may have been naked”, a court heard.
Everard Cunion (63), who was being investigated over stalking, informed officers he had done the same with a deer and insisted the images were “not harming anybody”, Bournemouth Crown Court was told.
Prosecutor Sadie Rizzo said Cunion made the revelations in an interview with police in relation to indecent images of children they found when they analysed two devices seized form the defendant’s Fairmile Road home.
Cunion said he had not realised the animal images were on his machine and he had taken them “many years ago”.
Ms Rizzo said officers also found four indecent images of children as young as 13 that were at category C – the lowest level – and seven prohibited “cartoonish” pictures of youngsters on a USB stick and a computer.
The indecent images were downloaded between 21st February 2017 and 24th September 2018, Ms Rizzo said, adding that Cunion insisted in his police interview he had no sexual interest in children.
The defendant maintained he had viewed legitimate porn but may have come across indecent and extreme images while conducting research online into his lifesize doll collection, she added.
Police had gone to the address in September 2018 because they were investigating Cunion over stalking and harassing a woman he was infatuated with – which he later pleaded guilty to in court, Ms Rizzo said.
Cunion admitted the latest charges too: making indecent images of children and possessing prohibited images of children and extreme porn.
Defending, Kevin Hill acknowledged his client lived an “isolated existence” and pointed out he pleaded guilty and was “co-operative” with probation.
He said Cunion was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and had undergone chemotherapy. One of the side effects of the disease was it had “reduced his interest in sex”.
The custody threshold had likely been passed, Mr Hill acknowledged, but he pointed out Cunion was already being monitored by probation in relation to the stalking offence.
Probation officers did not accept Cunion had no sexual interest in children but also did not identify him as being a risk of reoffending, he said. The best way to tackle his offending would be to continue working with probation, he suggested.
Judge Oba Nsugbe agreed, deciding to impose a 12-month community order, ordering him to sign the sex offenders register for five years, and handing him a sexual harm prevention order for the same length of time.
Judge Nsugbe said there was “an element of depravity” in the offences, although he did note there was a limited number of indecent images involved.
Probation officers had struggled to find a “reasonable explanation” for taking the sheep and deer photos, he said.
“It is your view you are not harming anybody and it’s entirely something that you kept to yourself. That may be right on the evidence, but whether you kept it to yourself or not it’s illegal,” the judge said.
Cunion’s insight into his offending appeared limited, he added, so continuing to work with probation would best protect the defendant and the public.
As reported in the A&T, Cunion has featured on television documentaries for the way he lives at his home with lifesize dolls which he dresses up, names and gives personalities to.