March 2020

Rugby man caught with indecent images of kids tried to hide his face with a surgical mask – then took it off to smoke

A Rugby man who had downloaded hundreds of indecent images of naked children took advantage of the current heath crisis to try to cover up his own features

Hiding behind fears over coronavirus, Neil Rylance donned a surgical mask before leaving Warwick Crown Court after being given a community order.

Rylance (50) of Junewood Close, Brownsover, Rugby, had earlier pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children.

He was given a two-year community order, with a 30-day rehabilitation activity including a ‘Maps for Change workbook,’ fined £500, and ordered to register as a sex offender for five years.

Prosecutor Amiee Parkes said that as a result of police intelligence about the uploading of indecent images of children in 2017, a warrant was executed at Rylance’s home in June 2018.

He was arrested on suspicion of having indecent material and various equipment was seized, including a PC tower, a laptop, an iPad, a mobile phone, an external hard drive and DVDs.

On the devices, when they were subsequently examined, specialist officers found hundreds of accessible and inaccessible indecent images of children.

Rylance’s search history was also checked, and revealed search terms including ‘pre-teen,’ ‘young girl child models,’ and ‘child underwear.’

When Rylance was interviewed, he admitted making and distributing category C images, but claimed there would be no such material on the PC tower.

But in another interview he said he did not know if there would be, but accepted he was the only person with access to it – and in fact it contained two category B and 110 category C images, said Miss Parkes.

Sentencing Rylance, Judge Peter Cooke told him: “The evidence demonstrates that over a couple of years your behaviour on chatrooms was soliciting images of gross material depicting the abuse of children.

“You became drawn ever more into it, but you are effectively a person of hitherto good character.”

Before leaving the court building, Rylance and his partner both put on surgical face masks – which they later took off as he lit a cigarette.