June 2017: Now living in Penrhys

May 2011

Paedophile jailed for ‘filthy’ images of children

THE leader of a children’s drama group in Mountain Ash has been jailed after police discovered he had thousands of images of child sexual abuse

Among the material were photographs and movies of children as young as one he had surreptitiously taken at a park.

Nearly four hours of camcorder recordings were taken by Russell Barnes, 37, of North Road, Ferndale.

He also copied images to his mobile phone from his computer.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard Barnes used to run a drama group near Mountain Ash and had images of the group, but he denied keeping them for sexual gratification.

Barnes was jailed after admitting a total of 32 counts – representing images and movies, of making and possessing indecent photographs of children and bestiality images.

Andrew Davies, prosecuting, said Barnes had 4,557 indecent images of children ranging through all levels from one to five, with five including bestiality, of which there were 60 images, and 19 movies ranging from level one to four.

There were also 2,965 extreme pornographic images and 46 movies involving acts of bestiality.

Mr Davies said when officers went to Barnes’ then home in Treorchy, Rhondda, on January 11, he admitted storing the images on computers, memory cards and his mobile phone.

“There was a significant amount of extreme images of a distressing nature,” said Mr Davies.

“There were also three-and-a-quarter hours of footage of neighbours’ children in bikinis playing in the paddling pool and of children playing in the street, aged between one and 14.

“He filmed them because he enjoyed the risk of taking them, even though he had taped over a lot of the footage.”

Barnes admitted that he had been looking at indecent images for one and a half years and would use his mobile phone to take images from the computer.

Jennet Treharne, defending, said a psychiatrist felt that Barnes was suffering with paedophilia.

Judge John Curran imposed a five-year extended jail sentence, the custodial term of which is four years. He will be released after two years and spend three years on licence.

He said: “This is a particularly grave example of this type of offence and the indictment represents a vast quantity of this disturbing and filthy material.”

He also made a sexual offences prevention order limiting Barnes’ internet use, contact with children under 17 and access to children’s play areas and leisure facilities, including cinema complexes, and also banned him from filming or taking photographs of children.

He was disqualified from working with children and will have to register as a sex offender for life.