February 2019

Leeds pensioner hid vile sex abuse images of children on USB sticks under bed

A PENSIONER who distributed vile online images of children being sexually abused has been sent to prison.

Ronald Smyth, 67, was told by a judge that his offending was so serious he had to go straight to prison despite it being his first criminal conviction.

Leeds Crown Court heard police executed a search warrant at Symth’s home in Beeston, Leeds, in April 2017 after receiving intelligence that illegal images had been accessed from the property. 

Smyth was arrested and during interview told officers he had illegal images stored on USB sticks hidden under his matress.

They were recovered and found to contain almost 1,500 images of children being abused. A total of 573 images were at category A – the most serious level of offending.

Investigations revealed Smyth had also distributed 28 category A images to other people in online chat rooms.

Smyth, of Cross Flatts Grove, Beeston, guilty to three offences of distributing an indecent image of a child, three of making an indecent image of a child, possessing prohibited images and possession of extreme images.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, told Smyth: “How you got pleasure from looking at those images is something only you will know.