Child porn man jailed

A 51-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for two years after downloading almost 1,700 child pornography images – some at the highest level of seriousness – on his home computer.

A 51-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for two years after downloading almost 1,700 child pornography images – some at the highest level of seriousness – on his home computer.

William Owen saved some of the pictures in specially marked folders on his computer and stored many on CDs that were then kept in a locked cabinet, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Owen, of Chedburgh Road, Chevington, near Bury St Edmunds, admitted 16 specimen charges of downloading indecent images of children off the internet by supplying his credit card details to a website.

Judge John Holt sentenced Owen to two years in prison and ordered him to sign the sex offender's register.


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He told the defendant: "When your computer was examined, it was established there were nearly 1,700 images which had been downloaded. That activity had taken place over a long period of time and there was evidence of extensive searching on the internet.

"You saved some of the images. You created folders on your computer so as to save many of them. You also downloaded many of them on to CD discs, which you then kept.

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"I accept the prosecution's analysis of the categories into which the images fell and it's clear a significant proportion, indeed over a half, are at level four/five."

The court heard forensic examination of Owen's computer equipment found "extensive" searching had taken place for child pornography.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said police discovered that certain keywords relating to child pornography had been entered into a search engine – with one word receiving 23,000 hits.

"This is not a case where it is a one-off where a person has inadvertently or deliberately on one occasion sought child pornography," said Mr Sadd.

"It was an ongoing activity."

Of the 16 specimen charges, some of the images were at level four or five, which is the highest end of seriousness, the court heard. It was alleged Mr Owen had looked at a total of 1,698 indecent images of children.

Jonathan Goodman, mitigating, told the court his client was of previous good character and had suffered severe abuse as a young adolescent for which he had had no counselling or treatment.

"This is an activity which grows and did grow with Mr Owen, from very small beginnings at level one and gradually growing in intensity," he added.

Judge Holt ordered Owen to serve half his sentence in prison with the remainder out on licence.

Also in court was Mr Owen's wife Alison, 40, a qualified psychologist and former classroom assistant, who was sentenced to a three-year community rehabilitation order after admitting committing an indecent act with a dog.

Mr Sadd said the offence came to the attention of police after images were found showing Mrs Owen committing an indecent act with a boxer dog called Murphy.

Lindsay Cox, mitigating for Mrs Owen, said his client had suffered years of depression, eating disorders, alcohol abuse and had in the past attempted suicide.

"She has made it plain the influence of her husband has been very positive. There is one area where that cannot be said and that's why she's before the court today," he said.

"The impact of this offence is huge. She has worked for the last four years at two different schools as a classroom assistant working with the physically handicapped. She resigned from her position because she acknowledged straight away there could be no future for her working in that institution. She has been socially exiled since her arrest."

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