August 2003

Computer expert jailed over child porn

A computer expert became addicted to surfing the net for child porn, a court has been told

Peter Ryder – described as a respectable and well-known member of his community – was said to have become a slave to it and was relieved that he was eventually arrested, it was claimed.

The 46-year-old, who has since received specialist counselling, was jailed on Monday for a total of nine months at Flintshire magistrates’ court in Mold, north Wales.

Ryder, of Bryn Hyfryd, Sychdyn, near Mold, was also placed on supervision for two years and was ordered to register with police as a sex offender for the next 10 years.

The computer worker had admitted three specimen charges – two of downloading indecent photographs of children and one of possessing them – between May and August 2002.

At an earlier hearing, he failed to get a court order forbidding the media not to publicly identify him.

Ryder is well known in his local community.

FBI traced credit card

The court heard how he paid by credit card but American FBI agents – part of an international investigation – found his personal details among thousands of others on the offending website.

Crown prosecutor Mr Peter Humphrey Jones said that two years after the original FBI raid, police searched Ryder’s home. He was said to have been “a heavy user of the site”.

It emerged that Ryder had realised the FBI had closed the site down and bought specialist software to clean out his computer hard drives of all the porn files.

And by the time police executed a search warrant at his home and took away his computers, none of the files were left.

But Ryder had started up again and the charges related to other child porn sites he had since visited.

He was told by magistrates that the offences were so serious that only custody could be justified.

“There are photographs of very young children indeed involved in serious sexual activity,” said bench chairman David Cox.

Defending solicitor Mr Gwyn Jones said that his client had received specialist counselling for what could only be described as an addiction.

He told the court that he was full of remorse for what he had done and was glad it had all come out.

Mr Jones said the specialist help Ryder had received had made him realise how accessing sites of that nature and looking at images perpetuated the abuse of children by others.