October 2017

When police visited the dirty house of a paedophile they found ‘abhorrent’ child sex images on a laptop

AN AFAN Valley man downloaded more than 2,300 indecent images of children because he was “bored” at home, a court has heard.

A judge told Barry James Thomas that most right-minded people would regard the kind of images he had amassed as “abhorrent”

Swansea Crown Court heard that officers raided Thomas’ house in Glyncorrwg on the morning of March 16 following information received from Gwent Police as part Operation Erebus, an investigation into the sharing and downloading of images via peer-to-peer online computer networks.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, said officers found the property was “in a poor state of cleanliness”, and in a bedroom they discovered a haul of old computers and computer parts.

Officers also recovered a tower computer and a laptop containing one video of Category A – the most extreme kind – three pictures and two videos of Category B, and 2,367 pictures and videos classed as Category C. 

Mr Pulling said there was evidence Thomas had actively sought out such material.

The court heard in his police interview he said he had looked for pornographic images because he was “bored”, and the child images may have been downloaded “inadvertently”.

He later said that “perhaps” he had been interested in the pictures of youngsters.

Thomas, of Bryn Road, Glyncorrwg, had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

The 47-year-old, who was born in Liverpool, has no previous convictions.

John Hipkin, for Thomas, said there were no excuses for what his client had done, but that there were “factors” involved in the offending such as isolation, mental health issues, and substance abuse.

He said: “The picture is one of a desperate existence in some ways.”

The barrister added that his client had expressed a willingness to engage with agencies who were offering help.

Judge Keith Thomas told the defendant he had yet to fully admit the issues which led to his offending.

He told him: “These are photographs of real children being abused – they are abhorrent to right-minded people.”

For each offence Thomas was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years, the three sentences to run concurrently – at the same time.

He was also ordered to complete a rehabilitation programme, and will be a registered sex offender for the next seven years, and the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order – designed to control his online access – for the same length of time.

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