Wrexham ex-Army Sergeant Major jailed for indecent image offences

A retired Army Sergeant Major has been jailed after police found a high number of indecent images of children on his devices.

Dave Richards, of High Street in Cefn Mawr, appeared at Mold Crown Court for sentencing on Thursday.

The 63-year-old was convicted earlier this year of making indecent images of children at categories A, B and C over a period of 12 years.

Martyn Walsh, prosecuting, said the National Crime Agency was made aware of a social media account linked to Richards uploading an indecent image to the internet.

When officers attended his home in April last year, he directed them to a laptop in his living room, as well as to another he’d smashed and left in a bin bag in his basement.

In all, three laptops were seized and they showed internet activity regarding child sexual abuse sites and other material such as images.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said there had been so many images on the devices that police stopped the categorisation process.

Of those indecent images categorised, there were 242 still images and 26 videos at category A, 215 still images and 10 videos at category B and 721 still images and eight videos at category C.

More than 110,000 further images were present and were not fully examined, but there was sexual activity depicted in a sample of them.

Judge Rowlands branded the defendant’s behaviour as “perverted,” telling him: “This is a matter which I have considered with care. “But here, the scale of your offending – the number of images and the length of time you have been accessing them – it simply isn’t possible to draw back and suspend what is an inevitable custodial sentence.

“This is far too serious and it’s very far from being on the cusp of custody.”

For the category A images, the Judge handed down a 10 month jail term – designed to reflect his overall criminality.

Therefore no separate penalty was imposed for the other two offences.

Richards must register as a sex offender for ten years and has been made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same duration.