April 2018

Shrewsbury man who had thousands of child sex images avoids jail

A Shrewsbury man who was found with thousands of indecent images of children on his computer has avoided a jail sentence.

William Smith, 47, of Brunel Way was given a community order at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

Judge Peter Barrie said Smith would benefit more from completing a sex offenders programme instead of a custodial sentence.

Smith had previously pleaded guilty to a 10-count indictment, most of which were relating to indecent images of children, and also perverting the course of justice.

Stephen Thomas, prosecuting, said the aggravating factors of the case were the number of images, the age of the children and the fact Smith had originally told police his brother had downloaded the images.

Smith downloaded thousands of images, ranging from category A, the most serious, to C, and then joined a file-sharing website to distribute them.

Judge Barrie said: “What you did was seriously bad. I have to deal with you for downloading an enormous number of sexual images of children. Quite a lot of them were the most serious level, and not only did you downloaded them, you distributed quite a few of them using a programme for sharing files, and that is even more serious.

“You also made a deliberate attempt to cause the police to blame your brother by making up a diary that seemed to show that he was the one who had done it.”

Judge Barrie said a psychological report revealed Smith had learning difficulties bordering on a learning disability.

He added: “There is a strong public interest in punishing you, but there is also a strong public interest in doing everything possible to make sure you don’t offend sexually again.

“The sex offender programmes are the best way of achieving that. I think you have better prospects of success if it’s something you try to do in the community.”

Smith was also told to complete 35 hours of rehabilitation and 200 hours of unpaid work.