June 2005

Child porn man spared jail term

A Swansea Valley man downloaded nearly 200 pornographic images of children from the internet, a judge heard last week.

Michael Meredith, aged 39, of Maes y Cornel, Rhos, Pontardawe, was arrested following a massive police investigation into internet child porn. The investigation revealed the names of British men who had logged on to American websites and Meredith was traced.

Jim Davis, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court Meredith accessed the sites between 1999 and 2002.

Meredith pleaded guilty to 23 charges before Judge Keith Thomas. He was made the subject of a 100-hour community punishment order and a three-year community rehabilitation order.

Meredith was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,000 and to register with the police as a sex offender for the next five years.

Judge Thomas, sentencing, said Meredith’s was not a victimless crime and that by paying to download child pornography he had encouraged the abuse of children.

“Such a trade must be discouraged by all right-thinking people,” he added. The judge warned that such offences were so serious that, normally, a prison sentence would follow.

But he accepted submissions by the defence that Meredith would never get involved in this sort of activity in the future.

His barrister, David Webster, told the court that Meredith was genuinely sorry