June 2013

Man convicted of possessing indecent images still denies guilt

A WHITLAND man who was convicted of possessing indecent images of children still denies his guilt, a court heard.

John Booth was convicted last month of a total of 25 counts of making or possessing indecent images of children.

He had told the jury the images found on five separate computer devices in his Whitland home must have been downloaded by either his former partner or another had downloaded them to “discredit him”.

He also claimed he may have inadvertently downloaded them.

The images were found on two laptops, a phone, USB drives and a computer. Most of them were found in deleted items folders, Swansea Crown Court heard.

In total police found 117 indecent images and on the scale of one to five, where five is the most serious category, 24 images were classed as category 4, 9 were category 3, 13 were category 2 and there were 71 category one image.

Jim Davis, for Booth, said they made up a “relatively” low number. He said in a pre-sentence report prepared for sentencing his client had been focused on protesting his innocence rather than anything else.

He asked for the sentence to be as low as possible for Booth who he said had been subject to a lengthy curfew while waiting for his trial.

“The time he spends in custody will be more difficult for him, firstly because of his disability but also because of the transgender issues which your honour will have read of,” said Mr Davis.

Sentencing him, Judge Huw Davies said he was satisfied Booth, of St John Road, was the person who had downloaded the images.

“The pre-sentence report isn’t helpful because you maintain a denial for any of these offences. It makes the observation that until you acknowledge your responsibility for this activity, any hope of changing your attitude towards this kind of behaviour is unrealistic,” said Judge Davies.

“You do not seem to me to be one of those people willing to accept his own behaviour,” he added — before jailing Booth for 18 weeks.

The jury had failed to come to a verdict in relation to charges of rape and sexual assault of a child and not guilty verdicts were recorded by the judge.