November 2016

Thousands of indecent images were found on Flintshire man’s computer

A MAN had thousands of indecent images on his computer equipment, a court heard.

Matthew Graham Hatfield, 38, admitted possessing just over 1,000 of them.

But a further 240,000 images had not been categorised because of the work involved.

“It was a very large collection of child abuse images,” said prosecutor Rhian Jackson at Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold.

Hatfield, of Ffordd Ogwen, Bryn y Baal near Mold, admitted possessing 25 category A images, the worst kind.

He admitted possessing one category B and 1,059 category C images.

Hatfield further admitted possessing 3,506 prohibited images of children.

He was rebailed pending sentence.

The court heard how the defendant had previously been cautioned by the police for possessing images.

He was caught on this occasion after he took a laptop to a shop for repair.

Staff contacted police because of file names indicative of child abuse images.

His home was searched and a number of items were seized and examined – together with a note he had written himself, a story about committing a sexual offence with a child.

Search terms had been used which indicated an interest in such material.

Interviewed, he said he was interested in a case where a girl aged five had been made pregnant and had been searching to find further cases.

He said that he did not think looking at the images was illegal and that those who had placed the images on the internet were at fault.

The defendant had no previous convictions, but in 2009 he had received a police caution for possessing five indecent images of children.

Miss Jackson said the prosecution accepted that the defendant had disabilities, but he was skilled in technology.

Magistrates agreed they would retain the case in the magistrates’ court at this stage and ordered a pre-sentence report.