A WOMAN, who watched a child sexual abuse video so sickening and harrowing that a specialist police officer had to turn the volume off, has narrowly avoided custody.

Fiona Bond, who has a fascination with cartoon character The Joker, was caught with 20 category A images of the most serious sexual abuse after she received them from an online predator who called himself The Paedo Joker.

The videos that the 41-year-old mother-of-one had watched involved the rape and abuse of children as young as six-months-old, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said Bond had first started chatting with the man online as they shared the same interests in the Batman character, however, the conversation took a more sinister turn when the man, known as Vincent, started sharing his deviant sexual fantasies.

The American predator then started sending Bond videos of child sexual abuse, including one where the child’s distress was evidently clear, which she saved to a digital file-saving programme.

Mr Hadfield said: “The officer (investigating the case) had to turn off the sound, due to the distressing nature of the sound of the child being raped, for his own personal wellbeing.”

In mitigation, Michele Turner, said her client was a vulnerable woman who had suffered trauma in her own life and retreated into her own virtual world.

The court that Bond had no sexual interest in young children and had never shared any of the 19 videos that she received.

“It is my suggestion that she was preyed upon, she was an exceptionally vulnerable woman,” she said. “She became a recluse, living in a virtual world. She lived in cyberspace where her reality was engaging with this cartoon character.

“The defendant was targeted and singled out due to her vulnerability.”

Bond, of Crossfields, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, was given a 12-month custodial sentence suspended for two years after pleading guilty to a charge of making indecent images of children.

Sentencing the defendant, Judge Peter Armstrong told her that he was prepared to suspend her sentence due to her own vulnerabilities and trauma.

He said: “It was in that vulnerable state that you came to meet this man, Vincent, in America, who I am convinced took advantage of your vulnerability. You were obsessed with The Joker, he too had an interest in the character.

“A great deal of the chat involved that character and it was only later, whilst you were in his sway, that he revealed that he called himself Paedo Joker and told you what his true interests were.

“You were assisting this man because you thought that you could help him, but you were simply feeding his fantasies.”

As well as the suspended sentence, Bond was given a ten-year sexual harm prevention order and ordered to carry out 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.