June 2011

Ferry captain pretended to be 16-yr-old girl on internet

A FERRY captain downloaded sick images of children from the internet and pretended he was a girl of 16 on social networking sites.

Stephen Adey received an eight-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, after admitting eight offences of making indecent images.

Adey, cautioned in 1996 for indecently assaulting a schoolgirl, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Adey, 46, who was a skipper on the Stena Nordica that sails between Holyhead and Dublin Port, will be supervised by probation officers and must undergo a sex offenders programme.

He told police he was interested in naturism and had created “Gemma”, a 16-year-old girl, to visit websites linked to this interest. He claimed single men visiting such sites were not welcomed.

Sentencing, Judge Merfyn Hughes QC said he believed Adey had “deep-rooted problems”.

He added: “This was not just casual browsing. He created a female persona and has a previous conviction for indecent assault.”

But sparing him from an immediate jail term, the judge said: “You are to be hopefully a successful donor of a kidney to your son. It’s for that reason I’m not going to activate the sentence today.”

Defence barrister Simon Mills had told the judge Adey’s son was on the kidney transplant register, his wife suffers from multiple sclerosis and he is the family’s main breadwinner.

He added: “He is ashamed of his behaviour. He is not just remorseful but is beginning to understand what he has done. His wife is here in court and she is aware of the full facts of the case and stands by him.”

Tom Morgan Jones, prosecuting, told the court Adey, of Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, had been working for Stena Line at Holyhead in July 2009. He said a colleague discovered indecent material on a computer to which Adey had access.

“Adey said he would prefer if the computer would go away and couldn’t be found. The matter was reported to police and Adey was arrested and interviewed.”

Police seized a computer and an MP3 player from his home. A detailed examination found 37 child porn images featuring girls aged between two and 10 years. These were said to be explicit and some of them involved sexual activity.

Adey, who no longer works for Stena Line, accepted he had accessed indecent images on a Stena-owned computer but the police had not seized it.