June 2016

Grandfather blamed relatives, friends and police officer for child abuse images on his computer

A married grandfather who accessed child abuse images on the internet tried to blame relatives, friends and even the investigating officer in the case, for illegal images found on his computer.

Grenville Powell, 62, who was arrested on November 15, 2012 “steadfastly” denied any wrongdoing – until the day of trial this week when he pleaded guilty.

The police found 432 illegal pictures had been deleted on his computer, consisting of 81 indecent images in category A, the most serious level involving penetration, 139 in category B and 212 in category C.

He made 1,681 website searches with names suggesting the sites hosted indecent images of children.

Christopher Geeson, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court the images were predominantly of females, ranging from babies to approximately 14 years of age.

Many were downloaded two to three days before the execution of a search warrant at his home in Heathcote Drive, Sileby.

Powell admitted eight counts of making indecent images of children and was given a nine month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with supervision for two years.

Recorder Rachel Brand QC said “You sought to deflect attention onto other persons who might have used your computer at home, relatives and friends of your family, and it was suggested in your defence case statement that former detective constable Anne Watson – still working as a civilian police employee – had tampered with your computer and planted evidence against you.

“I suspect she’s relieved to hear you’ve withdrawn that utterly unfounded accusation and no doubt so will others you’ve accused of using your computer who may have been accused of child pornography charges.

“You now admit the full extent of the prosecution case – that you and only you searched on the internet for child pornography sites on a number of occasions.

“The 81 images at category A involved penetrative sexual activity of children and that’s a significant number.”

The recorder added: “You were arrested for these offences three-and-a-half years ago and you maintained your innocence steadfastly until now.

“There’s been a great deal of delay in this case for a variety of reasons; some of it was the failure of your solicitors to comply with the rules of case preparation and some attributable to your own attitude.”

Three days before Powell’s arrest, he was searching for indecent images of youngsters, after a family visit to a naturist venue in Leicestershire.

Sarah Porter, mitigating, said: “He’s married and lives at home with his wife.

“He has two grown up daughters and they’ve all known about the matter from the outset.”

Recorder Brand said: “They don’t believe he’s done anything wrong.

“But he’s now pleaded guilty.”

Miss Porter said he had no previous convictions apart from a public order offence committed at a benefits office, in 2012, for which he received a conditional discharge.

She said Powell had given up work due to ill health – exacerbated by the court proceedings – and he is awaiting an operation.

Miss Porter said: “Notwithstanding the strain, all his family are very close and have attended today to support him.”

Powell was classed as having a low risk of reoffending, in a probation report.

He was placed on a sexual harm prevention order and will have to enlist on a sex offender register, both for 10 years