April 2023

Man convicted of viewing indecent images of children caught doing it again just weeks later

A man who had already been convicted of making indecent images of children was caught doing so again just weeks later when police called at his home to check up on him.

Daryl Lawton, of Kings Road, Swansea, had a community order imposed on him in January 2022 after being convicted of three counts relating to indecent images.

Police found thousands of photos and films showing children being sexually abused or raped and tortured on the PhD student’s computer – and more than one million further images they did not examine or categorise due to time and workload restrictions

Following this, Lawton, aged 28, has been subject to regular checks of his devices by police.

On the afternoon of April 6 last year, a little over two months after the order was made against him, officers attended his address and during the visit he told them that he had been looking at pornography, including drawings of young boys. 

His devices were checked and it was revealed that he was looking at a large number of images on a daily basis.

He was arrested and four different devices were seized and searched – a computer, a laptop, a separate hard drive and an iPhone.

Prosecution barrister Georgia Donohue told Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday that, in total, police found thousands of images across Lawton’s devices, including those classified as category A, B and C, and prohibited images.

Some of the images involved children between six and 10 years old, and a computer-generated image of a child between the age of six and eight.

There was also an extreme pornographic image involving an adult male and a bull.

Miss Donohue told the court: “He was previously convicted for similar offences of making indecent images of children. He first saw these images (the most recent charges) only two weeks after the community order (for the previous offending) was imposed.”

Judge Catherine Richards addressed Lawton in court and said: “Your risk of reoffending is high. Only an immediate prison sentence can be justified.”

At this point Lawton interrupted Judge Richards, who told him to be quiet while she concluded her sentencing remarks.

Lawton had previously pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of a child, possessing a prohibited image of a child, possessing an extreme image, and two counts of making indecent images of a child.

For those offences, and for breaching a community order, he was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment and made to sign the Sexual Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

January 2022

PhD student had 3,000 images of child sexual abuse among one million photos saved

Daryl Lawton, of Swansea, had a hoard of images on a gaming tower. A court heard he had a ‘high level of sexual preoccupation’

Police found thousands of photos and films showing children being sexually abused or raped and tortured on the PhD student’s computer – and more than one million further images they did not examine or categorise due to time and workload restrictions

The images had been downloaded and put into folders on Daryl Lawton’s device over a period of seven years.

Swansea Crown Court heard the 26-year-old finds interacting with people “very hard” and spends much of his time in his bedroom on his computer.