March 2018

Minehead man caught with child abuse images

An online pervert tried to destroy evidence as police knocked on his door to investigate his computer use, a court heard today.

Philip Reed, 31, had been downloading horrific images of child abuse that showed babies and young girls being sexually abused.

Prosecuting, Harry Ahuja told Taunton Crown Court that Reed, of The Parks, Minehead, was known to the police having previously been convicted of sex offences.

“The police received information from an international source that he had been uploading images of child abuse onto an instant messaging platform,” he said.

“They executed a search warrant and found the defendant, and his parents at home.”

As the police went into Reed’s bedroom, they found him trying to wipe his computer, and had to pull the cord out of the machine to stop the process. He also tried to take his mobile phone into the bathroom, and had to be stopped by police, who seized it from him.

“When the laptop was examined by police, they found one category A image, and two category C on the machine,” Mr Ahuja said. “There was also evidence that he had been carrying out searches for that kind of material.”

When police examined Reed’s mobile phone, they found 329 category A images of child abuse, 403 category B images and 1,545 Category C.

There were also 23 category A movies, three category B movies and seven category C.

A further 40 category A movies and images were found in a Dropbox account, as well as 28 category B and 48 category C.

Mr Ahuja told the court the movies and images showed girls aged between newborn to 16-years old, with many of the images showing children in obvious pain and distress.

When arrested by police, Reed have given a no comment interview.

Sentencing, Judge David Ticehurst said: “So, you derive pleasure from looking at babies and little girls being abused do you? Three-year-olds crying in pain.

“You have a perverted and sick interest in the abuse of children, and having already received a prison sentence from the court, you were at it again.”

“I was in a bad place,” the defendant protested.

“You were in a bad place?!” the judge demanded. “How about those three year old girls in the images? Were they in a bad place? You are directly responsible for the harm and hurt being caused to them.

“And you attempted to hide the evidence when the police arrived.”

He sentenced the defendant to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to take part in up to 30 days of rehabilitation requirements, 200 hours of unpaid work and made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

He was also ordered to pay £400 costs and a £140 victim surcharge.

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