August 2023

Southampton paedophile spared jail

A paedophile has been spared jail despite breaching a previous court order.

Thomas Owen, 37, kept more than 1,000 indecent images of children aged between eight and 14 on a computer tower.

Southampton Crown Court heard the Hanley Road resident had been using Google Chrome private browser to delete his internet search history despite a Sexual Harm Prevention Order in place due to a previous offence in 2011 when he was caught with 7,500 indecent images of kids

When police inspected his computer tower, they found 59 Category A images – the most severe kind – 73 Category B images and 969 Category C photos.

Speaking at his sentencing on Thursday, Judge Brian Forster KC said these were “serious offences”.

“The case is serious because of the number of Category A images being 59 and also the actual content of those images.

“There are real victims to offences of this type. People who cannot be identified are being used.

Prosecuting, Keely Harvey said there was a “large number” of victims in this case.

Owen was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years and must carry out 30 rehabilitation activity days.

He must also take an accredited programme and carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Akinsanya told the court: “It is very clear that this is a man who is not hiding the fact that he has committed these offences.

“He feels that he has let people down. He was in a depressive mood.

“His mother sadly passing away in 2019, the loss of his job, the loss of a relationship. He succumbed.”

Owen was also made subject to another Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the next 10 years and must register as a sex offender for the same period.

An order was made for forfeiture of the computer tower.

May 2011

Thousands of obscene images found

A Southampton man has been jailed after more than 7,500 obscene photos of children were found on his computers.

Thomas Owen, 24, was arrested after police had received a tip-off from colleagues in Germany who had mounted a special operation and found thumbnail images on three computers after going to his home with a search warrant.

Southampton Crown Court heard how Owen had deleted the material after receiving counselling but thumbnail images remained.

Owen, of Hanley Road, Shirley, admitted 15 charges of making indecent images and was jailed for 30 weeks.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for ten years and under the terms of a sexual offences prevention order has been banned from using the internet indefinitely except to find work, for study and recreation and to purchase goods and services.

David Reid, defending, described how Owen had sought help over his problems and there were grounds for cautious optimism.

“He is a vulnerable young man with difficulties and society would be best served by giving him a community order,” he said.