February 2018

Larkhall man sentenced for making 693 indecent photos of young children

A man has avoided jail after pleading guilty to making almost 700 indecent images of young children between four and eight.

Ian Smart, of Beaufort Mews in Larkhall, was sentenced in Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday, February 14) after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing

A judge sentenced Smart to 12 months in prison, suspended for 24 months.

The 63-year-old was made to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, and had to pay a victim surcharge of £140.

Smart admitted to downloading 43 category A pictures, 44 category B pictures and 605 category C pictures.

Category A images involve penetrative sexual activity, sexual activity with an animal or sadism, category B involve non-penetrative sexual activity, while Category C images include all images falling outside of the first two categories.

All of the photos were still images and depicted children as young as four involved in varying levels of sexual activity, the earlier hearing at Bath Magistrates’ Court heard.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) alerted police to Smart’s activities on April 12 last year.

The NCA spotted two category B images had been uploaded by Smart, who was using the username ‘Guest’ in an online chat room called ‘Little Hores’, of which he was a member.

A further referral followed from the NCA that the same user had used the same IP address to upload a category A image to another online chat room. The IP address was identified as Smart’s.

Jane Cooper, prosecuting at Smart’s hearing in Bath, said: “The warrant was issued and executed while the defendant wasn’t home.

“Entry to his home as gained to seize evidence, including his computer on which the images were found.

“His search bar history included searches for ’16-year old-girls topless’ and ’16-year-old girls’.

“Over two interviews the defendant gave no comment.

“In the police offer’s statement they identified the aggravating factors to be the vulnerability of the children depicted and the large number of images found.

“Most of the images were not sent anywhere. They were viewed and then closed straight away.”

Smart had been told by a Bath magistrate that he faced a possible jail term before his appearance at Bristol Crown Court.