September 2019

Navy lieutenant avoids jail over substantial child sexual abuse images collection

A Royal Navy lieutenant who over a number of years assembled a sickening child abuse collection of children as young as two being abused has been told by a judge that he’s part of the monster.

James Smith, 35, was caught with thousands of horrific pictures on his device, his crimes coming to light after Devon and Cornwall Police received a tip off from their colleagues in Western Australia.

Smartly dressed Smith, from Perranwell Station near Truro , appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence after previously admitting three charges of making indecent images of children, offences that spanned categories A, B and C.

Prosecuting the case, Sally Daulton said: “The offences were detected by police working on an international investigation in Western Australia. The defendant engaged in chat on a channel hosted by two individuals arrested on suspicion of child sex offences.

“It became apparent the defendant was engaged in conversations under the name ‘Little Kiddy Slut’ and Devon and Cornwall Police officers attended his home on July 17 2018. When they arrived the defendant told them ‘yes I know what you’re here for and I’m quite relieved actually’.”

Smith’s iPhone was seized and he told officers they’d find indecent images on a laptop in his officer’s mess.

In total police found 36 Category A images and four videos, 48 Category B images and 3,125 Category C images, a collection formed over the best part of a decade.

His laptop showed history of access to websites containing indecent images of children and internet searches indicative of such an interest.

Smith answered ‘no comment’ in his first police interview but in a second grilling his solicitor read a prepared statement in which he admitted to having the material and an interest in predominantly Class C images.

Smith added that he was relieved when police attended so he’d receive the help he needed and that he posed no threat of contact offending.

Sentencing Smith, Judge Carr said: “It’s clear you have an entrenched sexual interest in children and I doubt it will disappear in your life.

“I accept you have sought treatment and showed remorse but you need to be under no illusions that as we sit here tens of hundreds of children are being raped for the entertainment of people like you.

“Children as young as two are being raped and will probably be raped throughout their childhood. This wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for the interest of people like you. A significant number of children are raped for internet material and you are part of this monster.

Smith was given an eight month suspended sentence and must complete a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also made subject of a five year sexual harm prevention order.