July 2017

Pervert had graphic photos and videos of children but was not sent to jail

A self-employed carpenter who was caught with dozens of graphic photos and films of children as young as three has avoided jail.

Dylan Towns, 45, of Warren Edge Road, Bournemouth, was given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to possessing indecent images of children.

These included 38 category A images – the most serious – 22 category B images and 20 category C images.

Last Friday, Bournemouth Crown Court heard that Towns’ stash of pictures and films were discovered after he was caught acting suspiciously near a girls school in Bournemouth on June 15 last year.

The court heard that Towns had been out running and had “deliberately” chosen a route which would put him close to the school while pupils were outside doing exercise.

Police had been alerted to concerns in that area and when they saw the defendant acting suspiciously he was arrested which led to a search of his property where a number of memory cards were discovered containing the material which was described as “unpleasant”.

The material had been downloaded between 2015 and 2016 and the majority of children in the videos and photos were under the age of 10, the court heard. Some of the films were said to have been as long as 10 minutes.

During his interview with police Towns admitted what he had done but said he was “stressed out and in a toxic relationship”. He said he was “just curious” and found them “disgusting”.

The court heard that Towns had a 25-year history of indecent exposure – although none of these incidents involved children.

Matthew Butt, defending, told the court that Towns had shown “real remorse” for his actions.

He added: “He realises the real and direct harm that is caused to the children in those images.”

Before the images were discovered Towns had been working as a company director, but since his arrest that career has come to an end and he is now working as a self-employed carpenter.

Recorder James Watson QC said: “There appears to be a degree of attraction towards the nature of material that you have obtained.

“There’s clearly an underlying problem here, the scope of which I am not able to determine, but it’s led me to have significant concerns about the overall risk you could commit further offences. Particularly if you are subject to a circumstance where the temptation is high.”

But Recorder Watson gave Towns credit for “being frank about his problem” and also for taking action to try and address his difficulties.

He was given a 10 month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He is also subject to a programme requirement and a six month curfew.

Towns has also had a sexual harm prevention order imposed for 10 years and is not allowed to work alone in a house with a person under the age of 18.