April 2017

Man avoids jail after police found child abuse films

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AN Aberystwyth man found with indecent films depicting sex offences against children has lost his job and is planning to leave the town, a judge heard.

Salvatore Catalano, 35, “had had problems in the area” since news of his prosecution had emerged in the Cambrian News, the court was told.

Catalano, of Pier Street, admitted possessing 32 films depicting sex offences against children, 15 of them in the most serious category A. One featured a child aged about three being sexually abused.

Ian Ibrahim, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court how police officers raided Catalano’s flat while he was on holiday last year and took away several items of computer equipment.

By the time he returned an expert had found the films stored in a file protected by a password.

After his arrest Catalano said he turned to child sexual abuse images after his sexual relationship with his partner declined.

Paul Hobson, representing Catalano, said the films had been downloaded in 2012 while he had been living in Poland.

Since his arrest he had lost his job, said Mr Hobson, and wanted to move away.

The judge, Mr Recorder Chris Clee, warned Catalano he could have no complaint if he sent him to prison immediately.

Some of the girls shown in the films appeared to be particularly young, one as young as two to four years old.

Catalano was jailed for 10 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to undertake 60 days of a rehabilitation programme to be devised by the probation service.

He must also complete 200 hours of unpaid for the community and register with the police as a sex offender for the next 10 years.

March 2017

Man admits possessing indecent videos of children

AN Aberystwyth man faces jail after admitting possessing 32 indecent videos of children.

Salvatore Catalano, of 28 Pier Street, pleaded guilty before Aberystwyth magistrates last Wednesday, and will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court after magistrates said their sentencing powers were “insufficient” for the offences.

Italian Catalano, 35, was originally charged with the making of the videos – 15 of which fell into the most serious category.

Those offences were withdrawn and replaced with the possession offences, but prosecutor Kevin Challinor told the court that it “does not reduce the seriousness” of the case.

The court was told that on 30 June last year, police officers executed a warrant at Catalano’s flat.

He was on holiday in Italy at the time, but officers seized “a number of items”, including electronic devices and a USB stick.

An examination of the USB stick, which contained some of the indecent videos, also contained Catalano’s CV, the court was told.

Catalano, who used an interpreter during proceedings, was arrested on his return from holiday but offered no comment in police interviews following his arrest.

Mr Challinor told the court that 15 videos “of the most serious type” were found, along with 10 Category B videos, and seven category C.

Aberystwyth magistrates declined jurisdiction on the case after being told the starting point for the offences was one year’s custody.

Magistrates, saying the court had “insufficent sentencing powers” in the case, sent Catalano to Swansea Crown Court for sentencing.

Catalano will be sentenced on Friday, 24 March.

He has been granted bail until the court date, with conditions that he has no unsupervised access to children, and that he is not allowed to travel abroad without the permission of the court.

Catalano was also told he must register as a sex offender with police within three days.

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