January 2017

Perverted teacher who downloaded sick images of children tried to flush USB stick down the toilet

A teacher tried to flush a USB stick containing indecent images of children down the toilet when police raided his house, a court heard.

Frank Swales rushed to the bathroom but was involved in a violent struggle with officers before they managed to force his hand open to get the memory stick from him, a judge has heard.

Swales, 59, of Southam Crescent, Lighthorne Heath, near Gaydon, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court in November to three charges of making indecent images of children between January 2009 and March last year.

But the Warwickshire College teacher, who has since been dismissed, entered his plea on the basis that his downloading had been “almost inadvertent”.

That was rejected by the prosecutor who pointed out that Swales had used a file-sharing programme to download material and had then filtered out the indecent images of children and moved them to a USB stick before erasing them from his computer.

And at the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the judge was told Swales wished to retract his assertion it had been inadvertent.

Swales was given a three-year community sentence and ordered to take part in a three-year sex offender’s programme and a rehabilitation activity for 40 days, and was also ordered to register as a sex offender for five years.

Prosecutor Kate Fortescue said that in March last year Swales was at his home when the police turned up as part of Operation Safe Net.

“The defendant and his two children were there, and when the officers entered, they became aware of movement upstairs and saw him heading towards the bathroom.

“They believed he was going to try to dispose of something by discarding it down the toilet, and that was the case. They told him to move back from the bathroom to his bedroom.”

Swales was then involved in a struggle with the officers as he repeatedly refused to take his hand out of his pocket, and the officers had to force his hand open during a violent struggle.

They retrieved a USB stick from his hand, and on it they later found more than 300 indecent images of children.

There were 31 movies classed as being in category A, showing young girls being subjected to sex acts by adults.

There were six category B movies and 196 movies and 86 stills in category C, showing children in naked or indecent poses.

A further 77 category C images were found on Swales’s laptop and notebook computers, said Miss Fortescue.

Swales had been remanded in custody after failing to turn up for a previous hearing, and when an unsuccessful application for bail was made, to allow him to arrange his mother’s funeral, it was said he could live at an address in Milverton Terrace, Leamington.

Judge Griffith-Jones added that, based on sentencing guidelines, the appropriate sentence would be eight months in prison suspended for two years.

“But in that event the [three-year] programme which would prevent future offending could not be imposed, because the maximum for a sentence to be suspended is two years, so I am going to depart from the guidelines.”

November 2016

Man admits making indecent images of children

A MAN from Lighthorne Heath has admitted making hundreds of indecent images of children.

Frank Swales, 59, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court on Friday, 4th November, to three charges of making 31 category A indecent images, six category B indecent images, 196 category C indecent moving images and 86 category C still indecent images between 2009 and 2016.

The images were found spread across five devices, though most were discovered on a USB stick.

The case was adjourned for sentence until 2nd December to give the Crown Prosecution Service time to decide whether to accept the basis for Swales’ plea.

Judge Steven Eyre, said the contents of the USB stick would determine sentence and ordered Swales to sign the sex offenders’ register and was granted bail on the condition that he does not have contact with anyone under the age of 16 without supervision.

Further conditions prohibit him to possess equipment capable of accessing the internet and to not to take up any employment or voluntary position which might put him in contact with any vulnerable person.

Swales was told that the length of time he would be required to sign the sex offenders’ register would be decided at his next appearance in court.

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