October 2015

Local businessman had indecent images of children

A BUSINESSMAN has pleaded guilty to a range of child abuse images offences.

Michael Thompson, of The Courtyard, Theale, appeared in the dock before Newbury magistrates on Thursday, October 22,

The smartly-dressed, 47-year-old married father spoke only to confirm his name and address and to admit seven charges of making a total of 2,826 indecent images of young children.

The offences were committed between December 23, 2013, and May 31 last year.

They involve still images and videos, and range from Category C to Category A – the most serious.

Helen Waite, prosecuting, said: “Because of the number of allegations and because of the content of these images, we say these are matters so serious that they should be dealt with by the Crown court.

“There was an inquiry with regard to the ages of the children involved and it would appear they were aged between 11 and 14 years.

“We therefore ask you to commit these matters straight to the Crown court for sentencing.”

Andrew Storch, defending, made no representations on behalf of his client.

Presiding magistrate Brenda Harding declined further jurisdiction and told Mr Thompson: “These offences are so serious that you need greater punishment than we can impose.

“We are therefore committing you to the Crown Court sitting at Reading for sentencing, at a date to be fixed.”

Mr Thompson was remanded on bail on condition that he does not have any unsupervised contact with children aged under 18 years.