February 2019

Wife still supports ‘family man’ paedophile who filmed young girls on his computer

A wife is standing by her paedophile husband, despite the fact he was jailed after filming young girls on his computer.

Peter Stevens, of South Woodham Ferrers, set up a separate electronic device and filmed Skype contact between himself and two girls under the age of 16.

When his computers were seized, an Acer and a Seagate hard drive, hundreds of indecent images were discovered.

Through the investigation, which saw the computers seized on August 7, 2017, more than 200 indecent images of children were found.

Over the course of the previous 13 months, 265 category C images were made, as well as Stevens possessing another 71 indecent images of the same category and one falling into the more serious category B.

In a separate charge, the court heard in April 2016,  Stevens also made another five category C images.

The court heard how he ‘targets young females on the cusp of 15 and 16 years for images’.

The 54-year-old, who has a family, contacted the two young girls through the use of social media.

After he took and made the sick images, he then organised them in separate folders and named them.

The court heard that it was unknown whether the girls involved even knew they were being recorded.

The defendant, who wore a pale blue striped shirt and glasses, sat quietly and looked around the courtroom whilst the hearing took place at Chelmsford Crown Court this morning (Monday, February 18).

Stevens’ defence counsel, Mr Rakesh Sharma, said that he had a “previous good character” and has been a “family man for some time”.

“He still lives with his family, his wife is still supportive of him, and he went guilty at an early opportunity,” he told the court.

He also argued: “This is not a case where he had set up a camera and invited girls to some studio and was filming them in that way,” before the judge responded to note the severity of the charges.

Judge Patricia Lynch told Stevens to stand up and then said: “Everything Mr Sharma has said on your behalf I accept, but you must understand the difficulty here is that you’re filming, via Skype, real children and children deserve protection.

“The reason these matters are so serious is not only because you filmed them for your own sexual desires, but these children will know these images will last forever and research has shown it does untold damage for children to know paedophiles like yourself are viewing their images for their own sexual desires.

“Many people tend to think it’s not terribly serious but it is terribly serious. Mr Sharma has asked me to consider suspended sentences for the circumstances but it is not appropriate to suspend a prison sentence as far as you are concerned,” she continued, as the defendant held his arms behind his back.

Stevens, of Hamberts Road in South Woodham Ferrers, was jailed for nine months for one count of taking an indecent photograph and/or pseudo-photograph of a child, reduced from 12 months due to his early guilty plea.

He was also sentenced for four months for two separate counts of making indecent photographs and/or pseudo-photographs of a child. These were ordered to run concurrently with Stevens’ serving a total of nine months behind bars.

He was given a sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register, both to run for 10 years.

A forfeiture for the destruction of both of his computers was also ordered by the judge.

Looking at Stevens, Judge Lynch added: “You may think this is harsh because of your good character but children need to be protected and the message needs to go out.”