NOVEMBER 2006

Jailed for child porn possession

THE smell from Martin Smee’s flat was so strong that neighbours called the police thinking that he had died.

But when officers entered the filthy home they uncovered more than 2,000 images of child pornography and also a little girl’s pair of knickers.

When Smee, a recluse and loner, returned from work the police found even more images of child abuse that he had been carrying around in his briefcase, St Albans Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Peter Shaw said police went to his flat in Station Approach, Kings Langley, on June 15 last year.

They found 2,056 images of child abuse. Thirty-eight were at the most serious level, level five, 278 were at level four, 452 at level three, 355 at level two and 928 at level one. The ages of the victims ranged from between three and four to 13 or 14.

They had been collected over about a ten-year period and had been saved on discs and listed by Smee.

He had used his mobile phone to take four secret photographs of women while on a train journey. Of the 46 images he was carrying in his briefcase, 20 were at either level four or five.

Smee said he was carrying them around to dispose of them – something the judge said he did not believe.

Smee told the police he had found the girl’s knickers in a launderette. Smee, who since being charged has moved to St Helens, Lancashire, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to making and possessing child pornography images.

He was a man of previous good character. Jason Halsey, defending, said Smee, who had been working for an internet service provider, had not distributed any of the images.

He said he was a “sad and isolated individual” who had been “open and frank” with the police and probation officers.

Judge Michael Kay QC sentenced Smee to 15 months in jail.

He ordered that he must be placed on licence for three years, on his release, so that the probation service can monitor him and place him on a sex offenders programme.

Smee must also register as a sex offender for ten years, is banned from working with children and is subjected to a ten-year sexual offending probation order, which will allow the police access to his computers at any time.

The judges ordered that all the images discovered in Smee’s possession should be destroyed.