December 2009

Ex-Gwynedd council workman had child abuse images

A former Gwynedd council workman has been given a three-year community order after an IT manager discovered indecent images of children on computer kit.

Terence Bearman, of Talysarn, Caernarfon was reported to police after the council officer examined a USB flash drive plugged into a computer.

Police found Bearman in possession of 22,000 illegal images of children.

Caernarfon Crown Court was told that the highways worker had since resigned from his council job.

The hearing was told that Bearman was caught when security software was upgraded on a staff computer to monitor computer misuse.

Police were alerted and his home searched, leading to his arrest in September 2008.

He admitted eight offences of taking and possessing indecent images of children.

In addition to a three-year community order, he was also ordered to attend a sex offenders’ group.

Sentencing him, Judge Philip Hughes said: “The mischief this kind of offending produces is it encourages serious abuse of children in order to satisfy a market which you are supporting by your criminal conduct.

“In your case the offending is made worse by the sheer quantity of the images found. You are regarded as someone who has a compulsion to collect images.”

But Judge Hughes said he accepted that the best way to deal with him was a “somewhat merciful approach” through a community order.