April 2018

Indecent images man handed community order

AN internet pervert who downloaded images of babies being sexually abused was handed a community order after he told a judge he needed help.

Police found more than 1,000 “horrible” films and pictures on 33-year-old Gareth Roach’s mobile phone after they raided his home this month.

Prosecutor Sarah Waters told Newport Crown Court there were 48 films and stills of category A images, which feature the most serious examples of child sexual abuse, 63 category B and 911 category C.

She said the victims in the footage and pictures ranged from babies up to girls aged 14.

The judge, Recorder Simon Mills, said the images were “horrible” and added he thought it “staggers the mind” when he considered the officers who have to sift through this kind of evidence and categorise the images.

He said: “They have seen everything.”

The judge also praised Gwent Police for the speed in which they had prepared and presented the case.

Roach, who has no previous convictions, admitted three counts of making indecent images between August 6, 2017 and April 3, 2018.

He was appearing from custody after spending time on remand after being sent to Parc Prison in Bridgend by magistrates after his guilty pleas.

The defendant was representing himself due to the barristers’ strike over government cuts to the criminal justice system.

Roach’s wife, the court heard, is divorcing him.

He said in mitigation that some of the images had “horrified” him and that he had deleted them.

Roach told the judge: “I have got issues. I want to get help. I would like to get some counselling.”

When he was asked what his first taste of prison was like, he replied: “It has been a nightmare. I’ve had suicidal thoughts. They’ve been keeping a close eye on me.”

Roach also said the recent death of his mother-in-law, who he was close to, had a devastating impact on him.

Judge Mills said to him: “What people like you have to understand is that when you download images of children being abused by evil and sick individuals it is often done not just for their own sexual gratification, but it adds to their enjoyment that other people are going to look at them on the internet in due course.”

But, he told Roach: “There is a prospect you could be rehabilitated.”

The defendant, of Lisburn Court, Ystrad Mynach, was sentenced to a three-year community order and told he must attend the Horizon sex offender treatment programme.

Roach was placed on the sex offenders register for five years and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same length of time.

He must also pay a victim surcharge of £85.