Dec 2007

Man, 21, jailed for child abuse and internet porn

A dangerous paedophile was caught with one of the worst child porn images that police had ever seen, a court has been told.

Simon Found, 21, has been jailed indefinitely for the protection of the public and branded a “determined paedophile” by a judge at Gloucester Crown Court.

The hearing heard how obsessed and twisted Found had in his possession, one video clip in particular, which was the “worst” one investigator had ever seen.

Found, who was described as having learning difficulties and was bullied at school, was snared by police after they received a tip from the national Child Exploitation and Online Protection Service (CEOP).

Canadian police had alerted them to Found’s perverted net activity while they were hunting down another man, after they uncovered images of abuse that Found had sent to him.

Found was one of the worst offenders the police in Gloucestershire had ever come across, a police spokesman said after the hearing.

Found was jailed for ten counts of making indecent images, assaulting a boy of six and three counts of distributing indecent photographs.

The court heard how he had developed perverted obsessions about having sex with children from a young age, and was found to have over 12,000 child porn images on his computer and evidence that he had distributed them.

He went a step further when he physically abused a boy of six.

Judge Martin Picton, sitting at Gloucester Crown Court, said he had reached “without hesitation” the conclusion that Found posed a serious risk of serious harm to the community.

As well as being locked up, Found was also ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for life.

Found admitted in August, 10 counts of making indecent images, four counts of sexually assaulting a child and three counts of distributing indecent photographs.

Prosecuting, Stephen Dent told the court that the charges arose from a search executed by Gloucestershire police at Found’s home in Castlemeads, Stroud, Glos, after they were tipped off by CEOP.

He was arrested on suspicion of making and distributing material, said Mr Dent, and his computer and associated paraphernalia were seized.

“A number of pairs of children’s underwear was found. Some of it was soiled and hidden under the mattress,” said Mr Dent. Also found was literature from Boots patenting club, he said.

Mr Dent said Found also admitted being the “webmaster” of what was essentially a paedophile site, which, when questioned, Found described as a place where net users could discuss the world’s “taboos”.

He admitted searching the net for images of young boys from six months to 12 years old engaging in sexual activity and archiving them and in some cases, transferring images to zip files.

“He said he was choosy,” added Mr Dent , explaining that Found said his preference was for youngsters from babies to six years old.

He said he wanted his own child to love, and that affection would extend to having sex with them, the court heard.

One folder was discovered on Found’s computer to have 20 pictures from his phone showing him abusing a young male child in January this year, said Mr Dent.

The boy was aged six. Found lied and told the boy’s parents he had a family and two children of his own.

Video clips found in the defendant’s possession, graded at Level Five (the most serious) showed “horrific abuse of male and females from babies to pre-pubescent children and the rape and torture of children, the court heard.

Mr Dent said one police officer had described one clip as “the worst he had ever come across in his six year’s of working in the field”.

When he was re-arrested he admitted downloading the images and abusing the boy on four or five occasions.

“Thousands of those pictures could have been distributed,” said Mr Dent, who added that a man in Canada, a contact of Found’s, had images of the boy Found had abused on his machine.

Jonathan Challinor, defending, said that although his client clearly posed a risk, he submitted that it was not one of ‘significant’ harm.

“He admitted all the offences in interview. He pleaded guilty before this court. He’s been frank about his sexual preferences and desires,” he said.

He said there were no “hidden depths” to Found, as there with others, and he regarded his urges with shame and guilt and was “desperate to shed them”.

Mr Challinor said there was evidence to suggest why he had such views, having had early sexual experiences with children when he was a child, was bullied at a school and had learning difficulties.

“He found solace in the chatrooms that appeared on the internet.” he said.

Having met other men with similar desires, he said, Found felt less alone and somehow it had legitimised his own feelings.

Found was motivated to rehabilitate himself, said Mr Challinor.

“He is only 21 years of age. There is, I submit, ample opportunity for him to mend his ways.”

Regarding the abuse of the boy, Mr Challinor said there had been no threats, violence or coercion.

“I submit it was an opportunistic campaign of offending . He did not go looking for a child,” he said.

Judge Picton said: “These are very grave offences. You, even at this young age, present to me as a determined paedophile.”

He said some of the images he had chosen to keep for his own gratification were some of the worst he had seen.

“Words do not adequately convey the nature of the evil material you sought out,” said the judge, describing one clip where a baby was forced “to undergo a life threatening experience”.

He said he believed there was a significant risk that he would commit further specified offences – and thereby cause significant harm.

“I reach that without hesitation,” he said.

Passing an indeterminate sentence on Found, he said, if it had been a determinate sentence, it would have been eight years.

That means that Found will not be eligible for release by the parole board until after three years and 145 days because he has already served 220 days.

And then, he will only be released if he is no longer considered a danger to the public by the board.

Judge Picton also ordered that he sign the sex offender’s register for life and made him the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, which prohibits him from various things associated with children and using the internet.

Found, it emerged yesterday, was known as a loner who struggled to find a steady job after leaving school.

His Bebo page depicts him astride a ride-on model of chuldren’s TV character Brum and makes a racially abusive comment.

Chief Inspector David Wasley, of Gloucestershire Police said the case proved paedophiles who think they are beyond the reach of the law, are not.

“This demonstrates how information is disseminated quickly so warrants can be executed and offenders brought to justice,” he said.

“This was a worldwide investigation – the world is a small place in terms of internet offences.”