Ex-wife’s disgust at unpaid work for man over child images
A man who admitted downloading 14,382 indecent images of children has given a community payback order.
Richard Smith, 45, was caught after his estranged wife contacted police in July after finding images on a computer at their former home in Cambuslang.
At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Smith was placed on the sex offenders’ register for two years and told to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work within a year.
Smith’s ex-wife said she was “disillusioned” he had not been jailed.
Speaking after sentencing, she said: “I am very disappointed and disillusioned with the criminal justice system that someone who has committed such a sickening act over a four-year period is only served with a community service programme when people are in jail for crimes of a far less sinister nature.
“I have to just put this behind me now and move on with my life.”
As part of the community payback order, Sheriff Sam Cathcart also ordered that Smith participate in a programme for sex offenders.
The court heard Smith and his wife had recently split up when she found the images of children on a number of computer drives which belonged to him.
She contacted police on 16 July and they removed the equipment and later searched Smith’s parents’ house in nearby Burnside where more computer equipment was taken away.
The court heard that the images discovered involved girls between eight and 16 years old and had been downloaded from internet websites.
Smith admitted downloading the images between December 2012 and January 2016.
Wife finds husband’s stash of 15,000 indecent images of children
The wife who helped snare her husband with almost 15,000 indecent images of children says he has destroyed her life.
June Smith was at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday to see her ex-husband plead guilty to downloading child sexual abuse images
Richard William Silver Smith admitted downloading 14,382 images between December 2012 and January 2016.
His crimes were reported to police by June in July 2015 after Richard left his wife and she discovered the images on hard drives at their Cambuslang home.
June made the sickening discovery 16 months after she married Smith and moved in with him, along with her then 14 year old daughter.
Her child, who was aged nine to 15 throughout their six-year relationship, was her first concern.
That’s because the images June found were of girls aged between eight and 16 years old.
The 54 year old called the police and changed the locks.
“I got the shock of my life.” June said, recalling the moment she discovered the images on the home computer.
“Because I have a daughter I was worried about her safety.
“You can’t believe you are in that situation, all those lies. I felt so betrayed.
“It made me ill to think I was living with someone like that.
“My daughter was terrified when she was out and about, we just didn’t know what he was capable of.
“I had to go to the doctors on a few occasions because the stress was having a huge impact on my health. We both struggled to sleep and we have both been for counselling.”
June and her daughter have since moved out of the home they shared with Smith and now live in Whitlawburn.
The pair have worked to rebuild their lives and were in court on Thursday in a bid to gain closure.
The court heard that police forensically analysed hardware taken from the family house to find 4,552 ‘level C’ images.
A search warrant was granted for Smith’s parents’ house in Burnside – where he now lives – where more computer equipment was taken away and he was detained and questioned.
The 45 year old made a “no comment” interview and was charged.
After analysing the rest of the hardware and finding a further 9,830 ‘level C’ images the police questioned him again before he was arrested and charged.
There are various categories ranging from A to E with A being the most extreme.
Sheriff Sam Cathcart deferred sentence on Smith until next month and continued his bail.
Explaining she was willing to speak out to raise awareness of these kinds of crimes, June added: “There are probably people like this everywhere. They think they can get away with it.
“They just can’t do it, they need to be punished.
“Some of these poor girls are aged eight, it’s disgusting, he’s a horrible person.”