November 2015

Man spared jail after found with thousands of indecent images of children

A man found with thousands of indecent images of children stored on his computer has been spared jail after a court heard it took two years to bring him to book.

John Nixon was first arrested in August 2013 but because of the massive backlog in analyzing computers he was not charged for more than two years.

But after hearing the 49-year-old had lost his marriage and employment as a result do the offending a judge imposed a suspended jail term.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how police in Gloucester were investigating a file sharing network containing images of children being abused.

He said it was found that Nixon’s computer had been used to access the site and they passed the information to colleagues in Wiltshire who raided his home.

“The defendant had been out of the house, he returned and was told by officers they were looking for images,” he said.

“Asked if he knew what he was talking about he said ‘probably’, then made a clean breast of it.”

On the machine he said they found 2,029 indecent images of children of which 90 per cent were of children thought to be under the age of 13, some as young as four.

They also found a further 161 prohibited images of children, which are indecent cartoons, and 53 movies of extreme pornography involving people and animals.

Nixon, of Thorney Park, Wroughton, pleaded guilty to three counts of making and one of possessing indecent images of children as well as having prohibited images and extreme pornography.

Recorder Maria Lamb asked if there was a reason for the case taking so long to come to court and was told it was due to pressure of work.

Mr Meeke said “Your Honour will have read in the papers how long it is taking for these type of investigations. Wiltshire police is no different, better than some, not better than others.”

Richard Williams, defending, told the court that his client ‘is remorseful and has victim empathy’.

In the time since his arrest he said he had sought help from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a child protection charity.

He said “His marriage is now at an end, he has moved out of the marital home. More recently he has been staying with his mother in Cumbria.”

As a result of the arrest he said he had also left his job as a crane driver as he felt he could not continue once his colleagues found out but has an HGV licence and was hoping to use it to find work.

Passing sentence the judge said “You are 49 years of age and in August  2013 you were arrested in relation to your possession of roughly 2,000 images of children, indecent images, prohibited images and then some other images of extreme pornography.

“As far as the indecent images of children are concerned you must know that the seriousness of that is by downloading them, as you and others do, you are creating a demand. In your case 90 per cent were under 13 , some as young as four.

“What happens to them for these images to be made is too utterly awful to contemplate.

“There is evidence of remorse, full co-operation by you. Most importantly there has been no relapse since your arrest two years ago.”

She imposed a 12 month jail term suspended for two years and ordered he go on a sex offender programme.