March 2013

Retired Lechlade computer programmer had 13,000 child abuse pictures and videos

A RETIRED computer programmer who downloaded more than 13,000 images and movies of child abuse has been jailed for a year.

Kevin Wallis, of Bell Lane, Lechlade, had catalogued and stored the material but was shopped to police by his concerned wife after she discovered what he had been looking at online.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that when officers seized his computer they discovered more than 13,000 indecent images and movies of children on the hard drive and memory sticks

Many were duplicates but there were 5,039 separate images and 110 movies, with hundreds in the worst two categories and some depicting children aged only six-months-old and others of youngsters who were clearly distressed.

Wallis was arrested in March 2011 and released on bail but Miss Hingston said his wife subsequently went to the police again.

“The defendant’s wife said following his arrest he didn’t seem to understand or appreciate what he had done was wrong: that he seemed to think that the children involved were enjoying it,” she said.

“He seemed to think that the children involved were enjoying it.”

Wallis had also been writing fantasy stories about child abuse and contacting other like minded people online.

The 61-year-old pleaded guilty to 18 counts of making and one of possessing indecent images of children, and one of possessing extreme pornography.

Con Fernandes, defending, said his client was aware what he had done was wrong and urged the court not to jail him but to allow him to go on a sex offenders’ programme.

He said that his client’s second marriage had now ended, he had undergone a triple heart bypass and been on medication which affected his sex life.

Since his arrest he said he had been on a course with the Lucy Faithful Foundation, which had been recommended to him by the police.

But jailing him Judge Euan Ambrose said: “By the downloading and the viewing of this material you are encouraging a process that has at its heart a real child being abused and in many instances in a terrible way.

“The abuse these children experience is really unimaginable.”

As well as jailing him, Judge Ambrose imposed a sexual offences prevention order to restrict his liberty. Wallis will also have to register as a sex offender and not work with children.