June 2018

Pervert had 58k images but walks free from jail

A child abuse images addict who amassed a huge collection of sickening pictures and videos of girls as young as three has avoided prison.

When officers examined four devices belonging to Thomas Reber, they discovered a vast collection of more than 58,000 indecent images of children.

One video, of the most serious category A, ran for one hour and 41 minutes and involved a girl between the age of seven and ten.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Reber, 39, became “obsessed” with looking at child sexual abuse images due to the absence of his girlfriend, who lives in Thailand.

Suki Dhadda, prosecuting, told the court Reber was first visited by a detective at his place of work, his father’s Colchester-based water company Crystal Clear Products.

A warrant was then executed at his home address, where a laptop, a tablet computer and two hard drives were seized.

Found on the devices were 22 still and 124 moving images of the most serious category A.

There were 17 still and 24 moving category B images and a total of 58,370 category C pictures.

Reber, of Peache Road, Colchester, admitted three counts of possession of indecent images.

The court heard the images were gathered between 2011 and 2017.

Frank O’Toole, mitigating, said despite his admissions and the images found, Reben’s father was standing by him.

“He is ashamed of himself and his father knows all about his shenanigans,” he said.

“Despite that he continues his employment with his very successful company.

“He has no previous cautions, convictions or warnings.

“The situation is a delicate one. In the pre-sentence report he is identified as a bit of a loner, a man who likes his own company.

“He has a long history of a relationship with a lady from Thailand.

“He accepts there is no justification for what he has done.

“During the absence of a direct relationship with his girlfriend he became obsessed with looking at these images.”

Sentencing Reber to a total of eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, Judge David Turner QC said he must balance the need to punish with the need to provide treatment and rehabilitation.

He talked of the thousands of victims on display and said Reber had brought shame upon himself and his family.

“I am not sure to what extent you’ve reflected on the lives and experiences of the many thousands of children, some as young as three, who have been taken to hotel rooms by evil people acting purely for money, and there vilely abused in the making of recordings for people such as you,” he said.

“This is not a victimless crime.

“Every single one of these little children represents precious life which has been vilely abused.”