October 2017

Irvine paedophile who called himself ‘Nappyhead’ jailed

An Irvine man who used the name “Nappyhead” in twisted online chat rooms has been jailed for downloading images of babies being sexually abused and tortured. 

Richard Howard, a talented darts player who competed under the name Ragdoll, was caught with over 1,500 illegal files at his home that he shared with other paedophiles online.

And, when arrested over the stash, he told police he was addicted to child sexual abuse images, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard.

Howard pleaded guilty to charges of making indecent images of children by downloading them, possessing them and sharing them with other paedophiles.

The 34-year-old was caught with a total of 1,513 indecent images of children.

Of his haul, 162 pictures and 92 films were the most extreme there is.

He committed the offences at addresses in Robertson Place, Kilmarnock, and Dickson Drive, Irvine, between April 2013 and November last year.

His innocent flatmate was also detained when he was arrested but Howard, who had since moved to Catrine, admitted he was the only guilty party, telling officers: 

“He had nothing to do with it. The images and the videos are on my phone.”

Police seized his Samsung mobile which, when examined, revealed he had looked at inages showing the “abuse of babies and toddlers.”

He admitted he had been looking at indecent pictures for around three years, including images of babies and toddlers being abused, and had visited chatrooms, where users offered to share images, under the username ‘nappyhead’.

The court heard the children being abuse in his stash of illegal files were aged under three and that he was “actively involved in searching for images of children being abused.”

Sheriff Alistair Watson previously warned Howard he faced jail for the offence as he deferred sentence for background reports, telling him: “These images are at the worse end of this.

“It seems clear you have specifically searched for images of the abuse and torture of babies and very young children.

“I am considering that a custodial sentence may be necessary in this case.”

And, when Howard returned to the dock this week to learn his fate, the sheriff ruled that was the only way he could deal with Howard.

After hearing he was single, had been disowned by his family and lost his job because of the offences, and had been assessed by social workers as being a medium to high risk of reoffending, Sheriff Watson jailed him.

He caged him for 14 months the sheriff said: “This was a disgusting course of coduct taken by you.

“Sharing images and films of infants being sadistically abused.

“There can only be one sentence in this instance and that is a sentence of imprisonment.”

He told Howard he would also be supervised by social workers for two years upon his release from prison and placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

He also made him the subject of a strict Sexual Offences Prevention Order which limits his freedom for the next five years. 

Howard, who has grown his hair long and now sports a beard, showed no emotion as he was led away to begin his sentence and had taken a bag with him to court, expecting to be jailed.

August 2017

Irvine paedophile called himself ‘Nappyhead’ and searched for images of babies being tortured

An Ayrshire man who searched for images of babies being tortured and abused faces jail.

At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on Monday Richard Howard, who signed in to sick and twisted chatrooms with the username ‘Nappyhead’, pleaded guilty to having indecent images of children with a view to distributing them or showing them to others.

The offences were committed at addresses in Robertson Place, Kilmarnock, and Dickson Drive, Irvine, between 2013 and November last year.

Scott Toal, prosecuting, said that police raided a house where Howard, 34, was staying as a lodger around 7.30am on November 27 last year.

They gained entry through an insecure door and found the accused in a bedroom. The other resident of the property was found in another bedroom.

Mr Toal said: “Unfortunately for his flatmate, he was also detained.”

Howard, now living in Mill Street, Catrine, immediately stated: “He had nothing to do with. The images and the videos are on my phone.”

Mr Toal told the court: “He produced a Samsung mobile phone and became extremely upset, reiterating that his flatmate had nothing to do with the images.”

Police seized a number of electronic devices.

A preliminary examination found a number of images on the mobile phone showing abuse of babies and toddlers.

Interviewed later, Howard eventually said he was responsible for the images and videos.

He had been looking at indecent images for around three years.

Howard admitted looking at images of babies and toddlers being abused. He also owned up to visiting chatrooms where users offered to share images.

Asked to describe the images, he said they involved children under the age of three.

Mr Toal said: “He told officers he felt he couldn’t stop himself.”

Howard also admitted downloading images at a relative’s house but said his family members did not know about it.

Mr Toal said that a full examination of the accused’s devices revealed 1513 still and moving images of children.

Of these 162 images and 92 movies were of the most serious category.

Mr Toal said that there was no suggestion that Howard had been physically involved in making the images but had downloaded them.

The prosecutor said: “One thing I should point is that he was actively involved in searching for images of children being abused.”

John McCluskey, defending, asked for bail to be continued pending background reports.

Sheriff Watson said that he was “particularly concerned” about the nature of the images.

He told Howard: “It seems clear you have specifically searched for images of the abuse and torture of babies and very young children.”

The sheriff added: “I am considering that a custodial sentence may be necessary in this case. You should prepare yourself for that possibility.”

Sheriff Watson deferred sentence until September 29 and called for a criminal justice social work report and a restriction of liberty order assessment. Bail was continued.

Howard was placed on the sex offenders register in the meantime

 

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