July 2017

Civil servant caught with 1,060 child abuse images 

A retired civil servant found with more than 1,000 indecent images of children – some as young as four – has avoided jail.

A court heard 61-year-old Vincent Barbary began watching adult pornography before matters “escalated”.

His barrister said his client now understood the harm viewing child abuse images caused, and “if he had the chance to apologise to the victims he would do so”.

Swansea Crown Court heard police executed a warrant at Barbary’s house in Water Street, Kidwelly, on the morning of December 14 last year, and seized a laptop computer and other equipment.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, said officers from Dyfed-Powys Police’s high-tech unit subsequently uncovered 1,060 images from a computer hard-drive – 110 were Category A pictures, the most extreme kind, 102 were Category B, and 848 were Category C.

The images included photos of children as young as four, while among the indecent haul were 70 photos of extreme pornography involving animals and adults.

The court heard the defendant told police he did not think images of beastiality were illegal.

Barbary, now of High Street in Abertillery, had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images, between September and December last year when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

The court heard he found the images after visiting online chat forums and would download images and videos “a couple of times a week”.

John Allchurch, for Barbary, said his client was a retired civil servant who had moved from Leicester to the family home in Kidwelly around four years ago to care for a poorly relative.

Finding he had “time on his hands” in Carmarthenshire he began looking at adult pornography online – a situation which then “escalated”.

The advocate said that after being interviewed by probation his client now appreciated viewing indecent images of children “is not a victimless crime”, and “if he had the chance to apologise to the victims he would do so”.

Judge Keith Thomas told Barbary the photos and videos he had downloaded were images of real children being abused for the sexual gratification of others.

Barbary was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to complete a rehabilitation course.

He was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to limit his access to the internet, and will be on the sex offenders register for 10 years.