February 2015

54-year-old Fetcham man jailed for taking indecent images of schoolgirl

A FETCHAM man has been jailed after pleading guilty to taking and making indecent images of a child.

Alan Weeks, 54, of Hazel Way, appeared at Guildford Crown Court for sentencing on Friday after entering an early guilty plea on one count of taking indecent images of children and another of making indecent images of children.

The court heard how Weeks, a software developer working in the parking industry, took pictures of a teenage girl during an 18-month period between October 2011 and June 2013.

His victim cannot be identified for legal reasons.

His actions came to light when the girl found a hidden camera taking pictures of her and eventually told her boyfriend and mother, who called the police.

The court also heard how Weeks bought a second camera once he realised the first one had been spotted.

This was only found during a subsequent police search.

Quoting a statement made by the victim, Richard Elliot, prosecuting, said: “When she first found the camera she didn’t know what to do, she didn’t know what it was or how it got there.

“[She] was in complete shock until a few weeks after.”

He added that the girl hesitated to raise the alarm at first due to concerns of how opinions of her may change if it became public.

He continued: “It happened at the worst possible time in life, right in the middle of [some exams] so she was stressed about that, she had a part time job and she realised it would ruin everything, her whole life because of what he did.

“[She said] ‘I’m never going to understand what he did’.”

The court also heard how Weeks, who separated from his wife in 2010, was seen in one of the images setting up the camera and that various still images had been added together to make videos.

At the time of his arrest, ten videos were found stored on a computer and another seven on a storage device.

Mitigating, Lisa Stewart, told the court: “He [Weeks] understands the impact this has had. He probably hasn’t explained that very well, having read the report. He’s truly sorry for his behaviour.”

Sentencing Weeks to 12 months imprisonment on each count – to be served concurrently – Judge Critchlow said he had to take into account that Weeks had bought a second camera once he realised the first one had been discovered.

In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Critchlow ordered the equipment used in the crime be destroyed and that Weeks be banned from taking pictures of children without the consent of their parent or guardian.

He was also prohibited from owning a computer and from deleting his search history after accessing the internet on any capable device.