Wadebridge Snapchat paedophile spared jail after case takes three years to get to court
A man has avoided jail despite being caught with hundreds of indecent images of children.
Former teacher Michael James Boucher, 34, was spared time behind bars because of an ‘unbelievable backlog’ that resulted in a three year wait before his case came before court.
Boucher, of Rowan Road, Wadebridge, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence, having pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.
Prosecuting the case, Francesca Whebell told the court that police received a referral from the National Crime Agency with links to a Snapchat account where the defendant had been uploading the indecent material.
When officers attended his property, a number of devices were seized and Boucher willingly gave up account information for everything, except the details to his Snapchat account.
Police then went back to Boucher’s property on a further warrant after IP addresses were found to be related to his activity, however, nothing was found and no further charges were brought. In an interview after the seized devices had been examined, the defendant responded with no comment.
The devices were found to contain both moving images and stills of children between the ages of two and eight years old. In total, there were 105 of category A – the most serious category showing children being raped – 56 of category B, and 178 of category C. The images were made between 2017 and 2020.
Sentencing Boucher, Judge Simon Carr said: “You pleaded guilty at first chance to do so. You had in your position a disturbing number of images of the highest category, including many moving images, which causes concern to anyone.
“You are a man of previously good character, and I understand that you have bipolar disorder which makes you isolated and prone to this sort of offending. For reasons beyond your control it has taken three years for this to come before the court, and it is as a result of an unbelievable backlog when it comes to these cases.
Boucher – who runs the Wadebridge Coasters Cycling Club – was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two year.
He was also placed on sex offenders register and must undertake one-to-one rehabilitation treatment.
The judge also ordered that the devices seized by officers must be destroyed.