September 2015

Man had indecent images of children on his computer

FATHER Andrew Smith has avoided prison, despite more than 450 indecent images of children being discovered on his computers.

The 36-year-old was arrested after his ex’s new partner was sorting through old computer equipment that had been in storage.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Smith split up from his partner, Claire Bradbury, in 2011 and both parties moved out of their home in Blythe Bridge.

Property was packed away until 2013, when a computer and discs that had belonged to Smith were looked at.

Prosecutor Robert Edwards said: “Miss Bradbury’s partner found a Packard Bell computer and began to look through items on the hard drive.

“He found a file labelled ‘three sisters’. He opened it and saw an image of a girl, scantily dressed, aged around 13.

“On the discs were images of very young children.”

The police were called and Smith was arrested on November 11, 2013.

The court heard that a total of 469 still and moving images were found on different computers and discs.

Smith’s mobile phone also revealed he had been using the internet to search for indecent images.

Smith, of Vale Street, Stoke, initially refused to admit his guilt, but finally admitted four charges of making indecent photographs of children on the day he was due to go on trial.

Nicholas Tatlow, mitigating, said: “The abuse of alcohol is a factor which plays a big part in these offences.

“He is affected by depression. He’s desperate to change the way he has lived. He’s determined to break this pattern.”

Judge David Fletcher handed Smith a three-year community order with supervision, and ordered him to complete the sex offender programme.

He also imposed a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, any breach of which could result in a five-year prison sentence.

Judge Fletcher said: “The vast majority of these images were at the lower end of the scale. Most relate to old equipment you had not been using for some time.”