September 2022

Paedophile asked ‘is it about the porn?’ when police raided his squalid flat

A paedophile asked “is it about the porn?” when police raided his “squalid” flat.

Barry Jones was caught with a stash of indecent images of children aged as young as two when officers seized his computers and mobile phone.

They also discovered a collection of sex toys openly left in the bathroom of his Wirral home, the floors of which were strewn with litter.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Merseyside Police received intelligence the 43-year-old’s IP address had been used to upload a single category B indecent image to an online chatroom on two occasions, namely on December 4 2019 and March 20 2020. Shortly after 9am on November 19 2020, the force executed a search warrant at his address on Woodchurch Road in Prenton.

Christopher Taylor, prosecuting, described how officers received no reply and had to force entry to the property. Jones, the sole occupant, was inside and said in response to the raid: “Is it about the porn?”

Police found the three-storey apartment in a “squalid condition with the floor filled with rubbish”. He had an “extensive collection” of pornography, as well as “numerous sex toys on full view in the bathroom”.

Several electronic items were seized from goods, with 108 indecent found on a USB drive and a Samsung phone. These included 19 category A pictures – those graded as showing the most serious forms of abuse – of girls aged as young as two and images of “teenage children dressed provocatively in their underwear”.

The latter device also contained extreme pornographic images involving animals, while 31 prohibited images of children – computer generated materials – were located on a Toshiba laptop and a Samsung computer. Meanwhile, a quantity of cannabis for personal use was discovered in a plastic tub.

Jones admitted three counts of making indecent images, possession of indecent images, possession of prohibited images of children, possession of extreme pornographic images and possession of cannabis.

He was handed a 10-month imprisonment suspended for two years on Tuesday, September 6, after a judge found there was a “realistic prospect of rehabilitation”.

Sentencing, Recorder Mark Ainsworth said: “Behind each one of those images is a child, in some cases a child of very tender years, being sexually abused. One has to assume that if there was not a market for images of this nature then the abuse would not take place.

“That is why the courts take such a serious view of these offences. As soon as this matter was put to you, you pleaded guilty and I accept that you had to wait a significant time for this matter to be resolved. It is clear to me there must be a sentence of imprisonment. I am going to step back from imposing an immediate sentence of imprisonment today.

“Whether you serve it or not will be a matter for you. You can put this matter behind you and move on safe in the knowledge you have been given guidance and training on how to control yourself in the future.

“If you commit further offences or fail to comply, you should expect to serve that sentence.”

Jones must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, complete a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 30 days and pay a victim surcharge.

He was handed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and was told to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period – with forfeiture of the seized devices also ordered.