Oct 2010

‘Relief’ after cops found 9,200 child sex pictures

A POLICE raid at the home of a Gwendraeth Valley man revealed he had amassed more than 9,000 indecent images of children.

Nigel Stephen Collins was arrested after a search warrant was executed at Furnace Terrace, Pontyberem, last November.

After the images were discovered on his computer, officers heard Collins telling his wife that his situation was very serious but he felt relieved because he now knew he would have to get help.

His arrest was described at Swansea Crown Court when the 61-year-old pleaded guilty to 16 offences of downloading indecent photographs of children and a possession offence involving 9,274 such images.

Nicola Powell, prosecuting, said that 330 were category five images at the top end of the scale of seriousness — and some of these depicted penetrative sex with children.

Collins was caught after he used his debit card to access child pornography on the internet. Some of the material had been obtained just two hours before the police raid.

Questioned by detectives, he said: “I have a problem. I know that.”

Jonathan Edwards, in mitigation, emphasised that the defendant had not been involved in distributing child porn to other people.

“He has expressed shame at what has happened,” said Mr Edwards.

“He feared complete desertion by members of his family, but it now seems his wife will stand by him.”

Judge Peter Heywood, sentencing, said he had viewed the material brought to court by the police and it was disgusting.

Real children had been abused to satisfy the prurient interests of people like the defendant — and the case clearly passed the custody threshold.

Judge Heywood said the court would be justified in imposing an immediate eight-month prison sentence on Collins.

But although that would punish the defendant, it would not achieve anything else.

For Collins needed professional help to address his offending and, with remission taken into account, a sentence of that length would not be long enough for him to be treated in a custodial setting.

As a result, said the judge, the court proposed a more constructive course, one that would be better for the long-term interest of society.

He imposed an eight-month prison term but suspended it for two years — with a condition that Collins must complete a probation service-run internet sex offender treatment programme.

The judge also ordered Collins, now of Redcar, Cleveland, to be registered as a sex offender until 2020.