January 2017

Tiverton man who downloaded child abuse images sent on course

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A mechanic has been sent on a sex offenders’ programme after being found guilty of downloading child abuse images from the internet.

Jonathan Edwards used search terms such as ‘under-age girl porn pics’ and ‘pre-teen girl porn photos’ and was caught with images of both boys and girls.

He claimed visitors to his home in Tiverton were responsible for downloading the images but his home built computer was password protected.

Police experts also found he had searched for them in between playing a Facebook game called Cartown and stored some in the game’s files.

Edwards, aged 33, of Newport Street, Tiverton, denied five counts of making or possessing indecent images of children and two of possessing extreme pornography which shows bestiality.

He was found guilty of all offences by a jury at Exeter Crown Court last year and was jailed for nine months, suspended for two years by Recorder Mr James Watson, QC.

The judge ordered him to attend the probation-run Horizon sex offenders’ treatment programme and to sign on the sex offenders register. He imposed a sexual harm prevention order which will allow the police to monitor his internet use.

He told him:”I did not find evidence of systematic searching, but rather that of a recluse attempting to find images of this kind on his own. The material was downloaded late at night and your family were unaware of your activities.

“There is no evidence of escalation and in the three years since these offences there have been no additional incidents.”

During the trial the jury heard how police executed a warrant at Edwards’s home in Newport House on June 26, 2013, where they seized a computer tower and his mobile phone.

The computer was password protected, some of the same images were found on both it and Edwards’s mobile phone.

He had also searches made in the early hours of the morning and within minutes of him accessing the Cartown games forum.

There were 47 child abuse images and 11 extreme images of bestiality. They included a seven-year-old boy performing a sexual act with an adult man, a five-year-old naked with an adult touching her genitals, and a topless girl of about 11 or 12.

Edwards denied carrying out the searches or downloaded the images. He said a man who used to visit his house knew the password and must have used the computer while staying overnight.

December 2016

Tiverton man guilty of having child abuse images

A father has been found guilty of having images of child abuse on his home made computer after a jury rejected his claim that someone else must have been using it.

Jonathan Edwards blamed visitors to his home in Tiverton but was found guilty after evidence showed he had searched for child images within minutes of playing a Facebook game in the middle of the night.

The computer was password protected but he claimed it was common knowledge among people who came to his home.

The evidence of his 3am browsing was found by police on his computer which broke down as he was in the middle of looking for images of pre-teen girls.

Former garage worker Edwards was also found with images of adults having sex with animals, including horses, on both the computer and a mobile.

Some images were also found on his partner’s phone, which she had only had for a couple of weeks and which he was the only other person to use.

Edwards was a keen player of a Facebook game called Cartown, in which players customise virtual vehicles, and some of the child images were found in computer folders where he had saved his creations.

The father-of-three was caught with images showing boys and girls as young as seven after police raided his home and seized the equipment.

He had built the tower system with a friend but it had seized up a week before the raid, preserving his illegal activity which was exposed when police experts analysed the hard drive and search history.

There were around 50 child abuse images and 30 humans having sex with animals (bestiality) images.

Edwards, aged 33, of Newport Street, Tiverton, denied five counts of making or possessing indecent images of children and two of possessing extreme pornography which shows bestiality.

He was found guilty of all offences by the jury at Exeter Crown Court where Recorder Mr James Watson adjourned sentence and ordered a probation pre sentence report.

He granted Edwards bail until his sentence, which is likely to be in the New Year.

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