August 2017

Paedo ‘tampered’ with PC to view child sex abuse images

A CONVICTED paedophile tampered with software designed to stop him viewing indecent images of children, a court heard.

Peter Colbear, 58, of Picasso Way, Shoebury, is charged with downloading 101 indecent images of children ranging from the most serious category A to category C.

Basildon Crown Court heard Colbear was convicted of a similar offence in 2009 and was made the subject of a strict order limiting his internet use.

Richard Burrington, prosecuting, said police raided his home in July 2014 and found evidence on an upstairs computer that indecent images of children had been viewed.

He said: “None of them would have been accessible to an ordinary user. By the time the computer had been seized by police the original images had gone.

“But they had left their fingerprints on the hard drive. The fingerprints indicate that at some earlier stage the original images would have been viewable on the computer screen by any ordinary user.”

Mr Burrington said Colbear had subscribed to special software called Securus, sent to him by paedophile treatment charity the Lucy Faithful Foundation.

He said: “The fact that the original images were no longer viewable on the screen is perhaps indicative of this defendant having decided to cover his tracks.

“The prosecution say he tampered with this piece of software.”

Mr Burrington said the software worked by automatically sending screenshots to the Lucy Faithfull Foundation if certain search terms were entered on the computer.

He said: “The software was capable of operating properly if it had been correctly installed and remained so.

“It sent a number of reports to indicate that it was working properly. But it was evident that it had been tampered with at some later stage.”

Mr Burrington said an “ex file” had been removed from the software, making it like a car without a spark plug.

He said: “He had removed an essential file within the software, making it useless for its intended purpose. It was like removing the spark plug from a car engine.”

The court heard Colbear accepted using the computer but denied corrupting the software or viewing indecent images of children.

Jurors were also told details of Colbear’s original conviction.

Mr Burrington said police had raided his home in February 2009. He said: “The defendant provided the police with a hard drive, telling them they would find the images on it.

“He doesn’t have any other cautions or convictions.”

The trial continues.

March 2009

Scout leader jailed for dowloading child sex abuse images

A SCOUT leader has been jailed for downloading more than 11,000 pornographic pictures of children.

Peter Colbear, 50, of Picasso Way, Shoebury, almost fainted after he was jailed for a year at Basildon Crown Court yesterday. Judge Rupert Overbury said Colbear’s collection of pornography, which Overbury said Colbear’s collection of pornography, which included pictures of children ranging from young babies to young teenagers, was one of the worst he had ever seen in his career.

It included 33 images classed at level five, which is the most serious level and depict sadism or bestiality.

Colbear, who worked as a dispensing optician, was arrested in April last year after a work colleague found indecent images on a computer memory stick.

Colbear confessed to downloading the images and volunteered up his hard drive, which contained thousands more incriminating pictures.

The 50-year-old was described to the court as an active and highly regarded member of the community, who worked as a scout leader and volunteered for the Salvation Army.

It was claimed in mitigation, Colbear unwittingly downloaded the images over two weeks in April, during which he became obsessed with surfing adult pornography sites.

The court was also told he only viewed one per cent of the images during the two weeks before they were seized, and that he got no sexual pleasure from looking at them.

Before sentencing Judge Overbury told Colbear: “I have never come across a case of so many level five images before.

“The images are of young children and mainly boys, which is particularly worrying in light of your claim that you sought no sexual gratification.

“People held you and still hold you in extremely high regard and you should be proud of the voluntary work you have done in the past.”

Colbear’s friends and family in the public gallery looked on in horror as the defendant, who had thinning white hair, glasses, and wore a dark shirt over a t-shirt, nearly fainted and had to be supported by a security guard.

Colbear was sentenced for 14 counts of making indecent photographs of children and one count of possessing pornography involving children.

He was also banned from working with children or having any unsupervised contact with children, bar his own, for 10 years.

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