May 2017

Slimbridge man who collected child abuse images on his iPad avoids jail

A 32-YEAR-OLD Slimbridge man who collected child abuse images on his iPad has avoided going to jail today.

At Gloucester Crown Court James Merrett, of St John’s Road, was given a community order and told he would have to undergo a child abuse rehab course.

Merrett had been committed for sentence to the crown court after he pleaded guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court to three offences of making indecent photographs or pseudo images of child sexual abuse

Prosecutor Lucy Stoker said when the police raided his home on November 4 they found 68 category A images on his iPad, 36 category B and 30 category C – a total of 134.

“He was at his home address when the police arrived and he was very forthcoming,” she said. “He went to the kitchen and got his iPad. It was seized from him. He admitted that he had images on it.

“He said in interview that he regretted it.”

The judge, recorder Timothy Rose, asked if there was any evidence of how long Merrett had been collecting the images for

Lloyd Jenkins, defending, said Merrett had started when he bought his iPad two years ago.

The prosecutor asked for forfeiture and destruction of the iPad and the recorder agreed.

Recorder Rose then said he was concerned that Merrett had not been entirely honest about his motivation for collecting the images.

He said if a community order was going to work it would be necessary for the defendant to accept his motivation.

Mr Jenkins said: “I have had a long chat with him. I have told him that people like him create a marketplace for these offences.

“He now understands through me the gravity of what he has done.

“This is someone who wants support and will engage with the probation service. To his credit he is also aware of a number of other issues in his life which need attention.”

The recorder imposed a three-year community order and told Merrett he would have to undergo up to 40 sessions of the internet-based sex offender treatment programme.

March 2017

Slimbridge man admits three charges involving child abuse images

A 32-YEAR-OLD Slimbridge man has admitted three charges involving child sexual abuse images

James Merrett of St Johns Road, Slimbridge appeared before Cheltenham magistrates on March 16 when he pleaded guilty to making indecent photographs of children – 68 of category A (the worst kind), 36 of category B and 30 of category C.

All the offences were committed on November 3 last year at Slimbridge.

Merrett was granted unconditional bail and will appear at Gloucester Crown Court for sentence on April 21.