March 2018

Paedophile given life sentence for crimes against two seven-year-old children

A paedophile carried out a string of attacks on two children while he was being investigated for possessing indecent images.

Timothy Tonks raped a seven-year-old girl over four years and videoed himself carrying out the “disturbing” assaults.

Police initially arrested Tonks for possessing indecent images of children but after he was released under investigation, officers were “shocked” to spot the 49-year-old on images on a phone carrying out the acts on the child involved.

During his second interview with police, Tonks’ new mobile was examined and another seven-year-old boy was found to have been sexually assaulted by Tonks with images once again captured on the device.

Tonks, from Southampton but whose address was given as HMP Bristol, smiled as he was given a life sentence when he appeared at Southampton Crown Court.

Daniel Sawyer, prosecuting, said Tonks had been downloading indecent and extreme pornographic images on to devices at his home in the city in September.

When he was arrested, Tonks told officers he was a paedophile and that they would find more indecent images involving children on his devices.

Mr Sawyer: “While carrying out the investigation of Tonks’ computer for the images, the officer was shocked to recognise the defendant in some of the images.

“During the full forensic examination it appeared that many of the images involved the sexual abuse of a child by Tonks.

“What was clear from the videos was that Tonks was essentially directing the child and telling her what to do.”

Tonks had another interview with officers about what they had found, during which time he answered no comment to all questions and his new phone was seized.

On this device, more images involving Tonks were found – this time with the young boy.

The court heard that since the investigation began the images involving the child abuse carried out by Tonks had made their way on to the dark web, although Mr Sawyer said it was unclear who uploaded and distributed them.

The court was told Tonks had attempted to kill himself by overdosing after he was caught

In sentencing, Judge Christopher Parker QC said “deviant” Tonks was “a danger to small children” as a result of the “disturbing” attacks.

He added that the only way to protect the public was to hand him a life sentence.

The judge added: “The girl involved in these crimes was aged between four and seven years old, so was abused just as she was developing her earliest memories.

“The damage you have done to her is unending.”

Tonks, who pleaded guilty to 29 counts of child sex offences, will serve at least nine years’ imprisonment before he is eligible for parole.

He will only be released if the parole board believe he no longer poses a threat to children.