May 2004


A WINSFORD plumber who ‘burned’ thousands of indecent images of children on to CDs has a escaped prison sentence.

Herbert Michael Jones was given a three-year community rehabilitation order at Warrington Crown Court on Monday.

The 53-year-old father, of Turnberry Close, was expecting to go to jail, his defence told the court.

He had pleaded guilty to 16 counts of making indecent images of children and one count of possessing them.

Jones had more than 8,500 images, including 20 ‘level five’ images – the worst rating possible. He downloaded the images in 1999 and ‘burned’ them on to CDs in 2001.

Jones was arrested during the huge and infamous police investigation into Internet paedophilia, Operation Ore.

He had initially denied the offences, admitting only to visiting and downloading information from adult pornographic websites.

He changed his plea and admitted he had visited the ‘Lolita’ website, and had downloaded and catalogued the photos mainly from bulletin boards.

Defending Jones, Mr Tehrant said: “The defendant was not involved in the production of the images and there’s no evidence he traded them on a commercial or non-commercial basis.

“His actions were so secretive that his wife and his children had no idea about the contents of his computer hard drive.”

He added that there was no suggestion Jones had behaved in an inappropriate manner towards children.

A probation report said he was a medium risk offender, the court heard.

Judge David Hale told Jones: “You took part in the obtaining of these pictures, horrifying pictures, of little children being abused.

“The evil of what happens to these children, wherever they are in the world, is something that you have got to learn about in the next three years, and you must never do it again.

“That is an arduous course and I have to be frank; you will find it hard.

“If you don’t go on the course you can be brought back to court and I would have no option but to put you away.

“If you do commit any offence with photos again, your feet won’t touch the ground – do you understand?”

Jones mumbled yes. He will have to sign the sex offenders’ register for the next five years.