A man was reported to police by his therapist after he told her he’d been downloading images of babies in nappies being abused. 

Matthew Lucas, of Sydenham Road in Croydon, appeared at the Old Bailey on Monday (September 5) where he avoided prison for a second time. 

The 24-year-old was first arrested in 2020 for possessing around 3,000 indecent images of children. 

In September 2021 he was given a “lenient” sentence of a community order by Croydon Crown Court. 

However, in May 2021 while those court proceedings were still ongoing Lucas told his therapist that he was continuing to download sick images of child sexual abuse. 

He was reported to police which gave rise to further charges of possessing indecent images of children. 

Prosecutor Alice Holloway explained the facts of the case. 

She explained that Lucas was under close police scrutiny after his initial arrest. 

“He was engaging in the criminal justice process for the first time, he chose to continue offending despite this,” Ms Holloway says. 

Detailing his offending, Ms Holloway told the court that Lucas was found in possession of a further 259 indecent images of children 

They included images of children aged one being raped by adults and images of babies in nappies being abused. 

Judge Paul Dugdale said: “Each one of those images is a movie of an adult man putting his penis in a child’s mouth, vagina or anus. Each one is a living record of a child being abused.” 

In mitigation, his barrister Mark Dakin said: “He was struggling with this habit. He had lost his job as a result of the earlier convictions and was feeling somewhat isolated.” 

Mr Dakin added that Lucas has self-diagnosed himself with ADHD. 

However, Judge Dugdale told Lucas: “You can self-diagnose as much as you like, but you need to wake up and realise you have a problem with this.  

“You need to stop clouding it with these self-diagnosis' of why you keep doing this, it simply needs to stop.” 

The court heard that Lucas had taken significant steps to prevent any future offending, including being open with his therapist and completing a rehabilitative course. 

Judge Dugdale explained that for that reason Lucas would not be given an immediate prison sentence. 

Instead Lucas was given an eight month sentence suspended for one and a half years. 

“You have avoided custody by a hair's breadth. As I say, this has to stop and ultimately it is down to you,” Judge Dugdale said. 

Lucas will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years.