September 2017

Torquay man downloaded thousands of indecent images

A man caught with ‘an enormous library’ of indecent images of children has been given a community order after he told the court he wanted help for his addiction.

Roderick Woolven, 49, was described as a lonely and broken man who lived a solitary life in Torquay.

When police raided his home they found 4,500 images of child sex abuse had been downloaded onto his computers. Many were of the most serious nature, including the rape of very young girls.

Woolven, a former door fitter, said he was ‘disgusted’ by his actions.

He admitted three offences of making indecent images of children when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court.

Prosecutor William Hunter said police executed a warrant at the defendant’s home at the Strathmore Apartments, Scarborough Road, in Torquay.

They found 227 indecent images, including movies, of the most serious Category A; 168 Category B; and 609 Category C.

Mr Hunter said police stopped categorising the number of images when they reached 1,000 but there were there were over 4,500 in total.

The defendant told police he had a sexual interest in girls aged six and over, although the abuse showed much younger children too.

Woolven told police he had started by watching adult porn on the internet but had developed an addiction to watching child abuse.

He told probation that he would sometimes delete the images because he was disgusted with himself while other times he would watch them for his own sexual gratification.

The court was told he endured a difficult childhood himself.

Judge Graham Cottle said: “This involved an enormous library of indecent images.”

He said there was no evidence of file sharing with other people.

“Included in the very large number of images were a large number of Category A – the worst kind. You are a man of previous good character in your late forties who lives on his own in Torquay. How you became involved in this I’m not entirely sure.

“On this occasion I’m prepared to deal with you as suggested by the probation service.”

Woolven, now of Castle Road, was given a community order for two years. He will attend up to 60 days of a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement designed to address his behaviour. Sixty days is the maximum number available to the court.

“It is in effect to understand why you did it and to stop you doing it again in the future,” said Judge Cottle.

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