May 2016

Police meet sex offender on Heathrow flight after warrant issued for arrest

An international warrant saw Wiltshire Police waiting for an early morning flight at Heathrow this week to arrest a man who had been extradited back to the UK after absconding seven years ago.

Mark Euston-Brown, of Kestel Road, Cape Town, South Africa, but formerly of Swindon appeared in custody at Swindon Magistrates’ Court before District Judge Simon Cooper where he pleaded guilty to seven charges of making indecent photographs of a child between October 6, 2005 and May 7, 2009.

He also pleaded guilty to a further charge of possessing indecent images and videos between the same period.

Vyvyan Thatcher, on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, explained that the images had come to light after one of Euston-Brown’s family members had borrowed his computer and stumbled across the illegal material.

“Police subsequently analysed what was on the computer and found two category five images and 17 category four images,” he said.

Category five is the term used by officers to categorise the most extreme images.

His defence, Emma Thacker, told the court that her client had fled the country in 2009 and gone to South Africa where his family were. He had been detained in South Africa on February 2 of this year and was met by police officers at Heathrow at 5.30am on Wednesday.

“The reason he absconded is he was scared of the outcome of these proceedings,” she said. “It is simply a matter for you whether it is something you can sentence today or whether you feel matters can be dealt with in the magistrates’ court. I would respectfully submit that these are matters that you can sentence here.”

District Judge Cooper agreed to retain jurisdiction for the offences. He told Euston-Brown: “The possession and downloading of these images causes untold physical and mental harm to the young children who are used to create these images by evil men who place them on the internet for your sexual gratification. There is no doubt here you had a direct hand in that degradation – and in one offence, of a baby. The less I say about it the better.

“Having committed these offences you fled to South Africa to evade sentence. An international warrant was issued and you have been brought here from Heathrow.For the first seven charges of making images I sentence you to six months imprisonment. For the offence of possessing a large number of indecent photographs and movies I sentence you to three months in prison. That is nine months in total.”

He also ordered that his computer be forfeited and destroyed.