March 2018

Paedophile caught after he sold his phone, but failed to delete the child sex images on it

A man who had downloaded indecent images of children being abused was arrested after selling his mobile phone without deleting the images.

Wayne Richard Mark Hartley had advertised his iPhone 5 for sale on Facebook, and arranged to meet the buyer’s son outside the Job Centre in Swansea’s High Street last September.

Swansea Crown Court was told that after handing over the money, the son took the phone to his father, who discovered it had not been reset, and ‘mindful of privacy’, attempted to contact Harley to give him a chance to do so.

However, unable to contact Hartley, of Geiriol Road in Townhill , the phone’s new owner attempted to reset the phone himself, and when he did so discovered indecent images of children, and immediately took it to a police station and handed it over.

Prosecuting, Kevin Jones said the phone was found to have 19 images of category A, the most serious level of abuse, 11 of which were moving images, eight in category B, and 11 in category C. In addition, there were also five prohibited indecent images of children, namely cartoon images of children in sexual activity.

Forensic examination of his phone revealed he had used search terms including, ‘Mummy and son porn’.

Mr Jones added: “Police attended his home address that day, and he accepted it was his own phone, and nothing to do with his partner.

“He confirmed he had been looking at indecent images of children, and said he had been looking at them for a couple of weeks before.

“He said he had been trying to delete them but could not, and said he knew he had a problem.”

Hartley pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children, and one of possession of indecent images.

Sentencing, Recorder Simon Mills said: “You frankly admitted you are sexually aroused by the sight of pre-pubescent boys, but there is no evidence you have gone on and tried to touch one in a sexual way.

“But what you have done, in particular with the category A images, is you have been looking at pictures and films of adults sexually abusing children in a penetrative way, almost always concerning children being raped.

“It has been identified that any concern is the predicament you are in and not the harm being done to the children in these pictures.

“You have to change.

“The facts reflect an attempt to stop. You sold the phone to get rid of them, but had not taken the obvious step of formating the memory of the phone.

“If you wanted to put it behind you, you should have broken it. Selling it was an odd thing to do, because you did not delete the pictures.”

Hartley, aged 42, was given a two-year community order, with a 40 day rehabilitation requirement, and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order.

He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to recompense the buyer of his phone, as well as an £85 surcharge.