March 2005

Teacher admits 19 porn charges

A Swansea Valley teacher has given up a two year fight against charges of downloading child pornography.

David Gwyn Edwards, aged 42, was first arrested in 2002 and police removed a computer from his home in Trebanos.

He was subsequently charged with 35 offences of possessing indecent photographs of children, three of making photographs and one of attempting to possess them.

Edwards’s defence team hired a firm specialising in the forensic examination of computer hard drives and at one stage requested £64,000 in costs by the Legal Services Commission.

The Crown Prosecution Service hired its own expert and after hearing the prosecution case at Swansea crown court Edwards entered pleas of guilty to 19 offences, 16 of possessing child porn and three of making indecent images.

The pleas were accepted and the trial halted. The remaining 20 charges will not be proceeded with.

Edwards was granted bail until he is sentenced after the preparation of a report into his background.

Edwards, of Swansea Road, Trebanos, had been teaching at a school in Wandsworth, London, at the time. Police also removed two computers from his flat there.

During his four-day trial Jim Davis, prosecuting, told the jury the images involved pictures of real children being abused. They were not fakes.

Edwards, he said, believed he had deleted the images but computer experts were able to retrieve them.

Edwards said in police interviews that he had paid to look at “teenage sites” on the Internet but denied deliberately downloading the images in question.

Much of the case was taken up by evidence from Professor Neil Barrett who explained in great detail how the Internet worked and how images arrived on a personal computer.

Judge Christopher Morton warned Edwards the granting of bail did not mean he would not receive a jail sentence.