July 2010

Sex pest jailed for thousands of child abuse photographs

A MAN has been jailed after being caught with thousands of dirty photographs and home-made lone sex videos.

Stephen Beard, 36, admitted 38 counts at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, including 36 counts of making indecent photos of children and two counts of having indecent photographs of children.

Two of the counts were described as “compendious” photo files involving thousands of photos.

The court heard how Beard filmed himself pleasuring himself as he watched local children play.

While doing so he could be heard detailing how he would like to be discovered in the process.

Jeremy Jenkins, prosecuting, said Beard had only been caught following an investigation conducted in Scotland under the name Operation Defender involving serious sexual crimes against a 13-year-old girl groomed through a social networking site.

A man was arrested in Scotland and when his computers were examined officers found material linking him to Beard.

“A number of people had been communicating with him and several had e-mail addresses,” said Mr Jenkins.

“The communication was of a sexual nature in each case.”

Some sexual e-mails found were from Beard posing as a 12-year-old boy.

Police in South Wales were contacted and an address at Llanwood Road, Pontypridd was raided and Beard told them: “You will find child porn on my hard drives.”

Several DVDs and hard discs were found images were recovered of child abuse in various forms together with videos, all ranging from level one through to level five, the most serious.

“There was no obvious evidence of file sharing although there was file copying,” said Mr Jenkins.

In one file alone there were 95,000 photos, and police recovered 39 home videos with running commentaries.

Mr Jenkins added that although not factual, Beard also had fantasies of incestuous relationships.

And when asked did he think he was a paedophile, he replied: “I suppose so.”

John Ryan, defending Beard who has no previous convictions, said Beard was disgusted with himself but believed he was not hurting anyone.

“He managed sex by pay-for-view porn on the television,” he said.

“There is an element of self loathing and disgust having had time to reflect on his behaviour,” he said.

Judge John Curran imposed a five-year extended sentence on Beard, the custodial term being four years.

On serving two years he will be eligible for release but will remain on licence until the end of the five-year period.

He was ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for life and was disqualified from working with children.