July 2008

Pervert caught by friend with photos on mobile phone

A HORRIFIED friend helped police catch an internet paedophile after she accidentally discovered he had a sickening stash of indecent photographs on his mobile phone and computer, Exeter Crown Court has heard.

Roger Tuckwell, 35, who was living with relatives in Newton Abbot at the time but whose most recent official address is Lower Washside, Tiverton, appeared before the court on Friday.

He was chatting to a woman at her house when she tried to use his mobile phone and accidentally discovered he had downloaded perverted photographs of youngsters who looked around eight years old. Police then seized a computer at his house, at an address in Newton Abbot, and discovered hundreds of indecent downloaded photographs including some at level four, only one step down from level five, which is the worst type possible.

Detective Constable Dave Sherfield, officer in the case, has praised the woman for alerting police and said the case is a warning to other internet perverts that they will be caught.

Tuckwell was sentenced to three months in jail, suspended for two years, by Judge Graham Cottle on Friday. The defendant, who has one previous conviction for dishonesty in 1991, had pleaded guilty to eight offences of making indecent images of a child, one of possessing indecent images of a child and a charge of failing to comply with the requirements of the sex offender register.

The court heard he failed to tell police when he moved, after his conviction, although Judge Cottle said he accepted this was due to lack of understanding of the rules of the register, rather than a more sinister motive.

Prosecutor Emily Pitts said the defendant was visiting the woman’s house in August last year when he showed her some adult porn on his mobile phone. Later that evening, she used his phone and discovered it contained an electronic folder with images of children.

Tuckwell initially told police he was only interested in adult porn but they discovered he had been using incriminating search terms on his computer and had downloaded hundreds of indecent images of youngsters.

They included 318 at level one, nine at level two, 13 at level three and 26 at level four.

Judge Cottle said he was taking into account that Tuckwell had ‘owned up’ by pleading guilty at a very early stage. But he warned: “If you are back in this court again then there’s a prison sentence hanging over your head.”