February 2018

Man caught with images of child sex abuse

A man caught with indecent images of children and extreme pornography on his computer claimed he had accessed them accidentally.

Police found 15 of the most serious Category A images on Richard Maunder’s computer, along with two at Category B and nine at Category C.

Cardiff Crown Court heard officers also discovered 35 extreme pornographic images, mostly showing bestiality.

Julian Greenwood, prosecuting, said police searched his home last April and seized “quite a substantial amount” of computer equipment.

The court heard he was not home at the time but later attended the police station voluntarily.

Mr Greenwood said Maunder, 26, cooperated with the police by answering all their questions.

He accepted the computer equipment belonged to him and said he had used some of it for university work.

The defendant stated he had been viewing legal pornography involving adults and clicked on links that took him to sites involving children.

Mr Greenwood said: “He suggested it was accidental.”

Maunder, from Sunnybank Close in WhitchurchCardiff, admitted possessing extreme pornography and three counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Andrew Kendall, defending, said his client had no previous convictions or cautions.

Judge Thomas Crowther QC said: “This is a man who has lived an otherwise exemplary life. He has done something very foolish indeed.”

He told the defendant: “These offences are always serious because these are real children.

“Real children have been hurt, real children have often been raped, to satisfy the worldwide desire for content like this.

“People sit in their bedrooms looking at it out of curiosity, as you say you did.”

The judge imposed a three-year community order requiring Maunder to complete the Horizon sex offender treatment programme.

He must register as a sex offender for five years and pay £250 towards prosecution costs.

An order was made for the computer equipment to be destroyed.