July 2003

Man jailed for child porn offences

A WIDOWER arrested on child pornography charges after an FBI investigation was jailed for 18 months.

Alun Feather, 40, had been to “hell and back”, Cardiff crown court heard, after his wife suffered two stillborn children and died from a heart attack last summer while he was under investigation for downloading child pornography on his computer.

The offences came to light when the FBI in Washington found his credit card number on their files and contacted Gwent Police.

Feather, of Carbonne Close, Monmouth – a man with no previous convictions – was previously convicted by South East Gwent magistrates of 16 offences of making indecent images and committed to crown court for sentence.

He admitted those charges and asked for 1,379 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said Feather committed the offences between October 1999 and March this year.

The offences were discovered when the FBI investigated Landslide Productions INC and found that Feather had given them credit card information online.

In March, Gwent Police went to his home with a search warrant and seized a large amount of computer equipment.

Feather admitted he had indecent images of children but was “not sure of the actual content or quantity”, the court heard.

He said they had been obtained by accident or through other individuals sending them to him unsolicited.

There were still pictures, and video footage showing children being abused, many of them of almost the most serious category.

Mr Griffiths said the police also discovered that he has sought out indecent images via the Internet using a key word and had made 2,428 “hits”.

He had also set up a system to allow the free exchange of indecent pictures with other persons.

Peter Harding Roberts, representing Feather, said: “He accepts what he has done. For the last nine months he’s been to hell and back. Sometimes he feels he is still there.

“There was no personal gain, no direct exploitation. He is a broken man and his life is in ruins.”

Sentencing him and increasing his licensing period on release to two further years, Judge Christopher Llewellyn Jones said: “There are aggressive features including the large amount of images.”