Febuary 2010

OAP avoids jail sentence over child porn charges

A PENSIONER who downloaded extreme child porn and contacted young girls while pretending to be a teenager has avoided prison.

William Moulton, 67, of Nomansland, Tiverton, was given a three-year community order at Exeter Crown Court.

Judge Philip Wassall said this would protect the public better than a jail sentence, as it was more likely to ensure Moulton received long-term professional help for his sexual interest in children.

The defendant had pleaded guilty to 12 charges of making an indecent photo of a child between 2005 and 2007.

He had not been charged over his contacting of young girls, which included sending “explicit” text messages to one.

Judge Wassall said Moulton had repeatedly sought to minimise his guilt and blame others, and that his character references were “buying” into his initially false version of events.

The defendant only changed his pleas to guilty when facing “overwhelming” evidence on the first day of his trial.

The judge told him: “It’s absolutely plain that you have got a sexual interest in children.”

Prosecutor Malcolm Galloway said police searched Moulton’s house with a warrant on August 16, 2007.

They discovered 580 indecent images of children and 31 movies, at all levels from category one, which is the least offensive, to category five, the most serious. Police then discovered that Moulton had been using internet social networking sites, pretending to be a teenage boy.

Moulton had also been sending sexually explicit text messages to 14-year-old girl who was under the impression he was also a youngster.

Defence counsel Rupert Taylor said Moulton now accepted he had a problem.

The judge imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order until further notice and told Moulton to put his details on the Sex Offender Register for five years.