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Thornaby pervert tried to take photo of girls at Splash in Stockton
A PERVERT who tried to take photographs of two girls getting undressed at a public swimming pool blamed the ten-year-old's for "being provocative".
Steven McGowan, 39, was caught putting his camera under the adjoining cubicle wall for the sick snapshot of the youngsters at Splash in Stockton.
Staff detained him until police arrived and after initially denying taking pictures, he said his camera may have gone off when he dropped it.
When his home in nearby Thornaby was searched, police recovered two lap-top computers containing more than 5,000 indecent images of children.
Jailing him for two years, Judge Howard Crowson said: "When you descend into making photographs directly, you must serve a prison sentence."
The court heard that unemployed factory worker McGowan had gone to the popular swimming centre with children he was looking after in May.
The camera seized by police contained only blurred photographs of the strangers, and they cannot be identified from them, Mr Crook said He added: "His apparent justification was the ten-year-olds were acting in a provocative manner in the showers and in the changing room cubicles."
Judge Crowson told McGowan "The fact is, you were interested in them in a sexual way, and we have to protect them from people like you.
"It is a real worry that you suggest this was because you were teased in a sexual way. These girls were not old enough to contemplate such a thing.
"Given the way you view young children is something of a worry to me, I hope in the future people will think twice before letting them into your care McGowan, of Acklam Road, Thornaby, admitted charges of taking, making and possessing indecent images of children going back four years.
His barrister, Duncan McReddie, described the pervert's interest as "an addiction" and said he needed treatment outside of jail to cure it.
Mr McReddie argued for a suspended prison sentence because there would be no guarantee he could go on the course while behind bars."
McGowan was also put on the sex offenders' register for ten years, banned from working with children and had restrictions put on internet use.