March 2018

Pervert, 56, sentenced after accessing child abuse images in sex offenders’ chat room

A man who accessed child abuse images through a video conferencing site used by fellow perverts has been sentenced after a National Crime Agency investigation.

Richard Townsend, 56, from Southampton, admitted one charge of encouraging the distribution of indecent images of children and a further six of accessing or downloading indecent images of children.

He was arrested after officers found he was behind a username in a chat room used by child sex offenders. Forensic examination of Townsend’s devices discovered 159 indecent images of children. Police said 38 were graded among ‘the most serious categories’ of such material.

Officer also found messages written in the chat room by Townsend in response to the images he watched, including one which read: ‘Well trained boy’.

Townsend was given a two-year suspended prison sentence at Southampton Crown Court on Monday and placed on the sex offenders register for ten years.