June 2006

‘Part-paedophile’ escapes jail term

WHEN police searched the home of a jobless Torfaen man, they found 118 indecent photographs of children, a court heard yesterday.

Most of them were of a low level of seriousness, Cardiff crown court was told.

There were also ten indecent images on his computer hard drive.

Former machine operator Howard Watkins, 52, told the officers he was not a danger to children and described himself as a “part-paedophile” said prosecutor Matthew Cobb.

Watkins of King Street, Waunfach, Pontypool, had admitted ten charges of possessing indecent photographs of children and ten of making indecent photographs when he appeared before Abergavenny magistrates, and had been committed to the crown court for sentence.

He was sentenced to a community order involving supervision for three years and a sex offender programme.

He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for five years and was disqualified from working with children for life.

Judge John Griffith Williams told him: “A short prison sentence would not address the causes of your offending. There is no reason to question your remorse and shame.”

Mr Cobb said the home of Watkins was searched on January 19 and photographs were found around the house of children aged between four and 16.

Watkins was arrested and said he had been expecting the police.

“He told them he believed he had been suffering from an illness and required help in stopping him being interested in child pornography,” Mr Cobb said.

He told the officers he didn’t have any relationships with children.

His counsel, Heath Edwards, said “He is deeply ashamed of his behaviour, recognises he has a problem and is motivated to change. He knows he needs help.