April 2011

Wife found husband’s child porn when he moved computer to shed

A HORRIFIED woman discovered her husband was downloading child pornography when he moved his computer to their shed – and installed CCTV there.

Lewis Williams, 44, of Claremont, Broadclyst, near Exeter, was given a three-year community order with supervision, at Exeter Crown Court.

Williams had downloaded more than 1,000 images including some that were only one level below the worst possible.

He has no similar previous convictions but does have a criminal record for exposure when he was in his 20s.

He had pleaded guilty to eight charges of making indecent photographs of children between 2006 and last year and two of possessing them between 2008 and 2009.

The court heard his wife confronted him, alerted police and then moved out of their home.

Judge John Neligan told him: “Your wife, from whom you are now estranged, discovered it all and very properly went to the police about it.”

He added: “I know that the message has been sent to the public that the court won’t tolerate this sort of filth being downloaded from computers but this sentence would be most useful for the public.”

The judge said Williams must attend an intensive rehabilitation programme for internet offenders as part of his sentence, whereas he would probably only receive a short prison sentence under legal guidelines.

Prosecutor Howard Phillips said: “He is a married man who lived with his wife.

“Around eight years ago, he became secretive about his computer. He would not let her use it and he even moved it to the shed, locking the door and then he installed CCTV cameras in the shed. It raised her suspicions.”

She asked for some family photographs in May 2009 but he handed them over on a memory stick instead of letting her get them from the computer hard-drive.

She found the hard-drive and discovered folders containing child abuse images.

The prosecutor said Williams’s wife alerted police and left him after confronting him about his behaviour.

Police discovered there were 1,138 images at level one, which is the least offensive; six at level two; nine at level three, and seven at level four.

Police grade images from level one to level five, which is the worst type.

When interviewed, Williams made no comment to police but pleaded guilty at the earliest stage at court, when he appeared before city magistrates last month.

Defence counsel Mark Jackson said Williams had lost his wife and was now probably going to be sacked from his employment because of his crimes.

Mr Jackson said the defendant had quickly admitted his guilt, had not distributed the images and that a treatment programme and long-term supervision would be better to protect the public.

Judge Neligan said he was imposing a Sexual Offences Prevention Order until further notice, confiscating the computer and putting Williams on the Sexual Offenders’ Register for five years.