November 2016

Man back in front of magistrates pleads guilty to possessing indecent images


A dad who swapped indecent images of children on a social networking site and claimed he did so in a bid to frame perverts has been caught viewing such pictures again.

Several years ago, when Gary Ashby was 31 and lived in Chatham, he downloaded more than 1,000 indecent images on his computer, including one of a three-year-old being raped.

Ashby, formerly of Yarrow Road, had posed as a 13-year-old girl to set up a fake account and used a tag name of Jessica Rabbit.

When police raided his home they found 1,135 level one images, seven level two images, 19 level three images and six level four images – the second-most serious – on his laptop.

He admitted three charges of making indecent images of children when he appeared before magistrates in Medway and was handed a 12-month suspended sentence and was put on a sexual offences prevention order for seven years, which banned him from accessing the internet and meant he would be monitored by police.

Speaking after his conviction, Ashby said: “There was no intention of gratification. I found these people on the site and wanted to stop them doing what they were doing.

“I made a mistake, I went about it completely the wrong way, I made a bad judgement, it’s ruined my life, I’ve lost my job, I’ve really shot myself in the foot. I am not a sick individual, none of this was ever done to get a thrill or for sexual gratification.”

Earlier this month however, Ashby, who is now 34, found himself back in front of Medway magistrates, after being charged with four counts of being in possession of indecent photographs.

Ashby, now of Ford Place, in Ford Road, Wrotham Heath, pleaded guilty to all four charges when he appeared in the dock.

Magistrates were told in total Ashby had 96 indecent images ranging from Category A to C with C being the lower range of seriousness. Since his first conviction categorisation has been re-classified.

The bench decided to adjourn the case and sent it to Maidstone Crown Court to be dealt with. A date for Ashby’s sentencing is yet to be fixed and he was granted bail until then.

As part of his bail conditions Ashby is not allowed to be in possession of a device capable of accessing the internet and is not allowed to access Twitter.