May 2016

York man had 870 indecent photos of children

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A SENIOR BT manager from York was found with indecent images of children as young as 18 months on his computers.

Police discovered 870 stills and videos of children on computers belonging to Wayne Swallow after searching his home in Devon Place, off Hull Road in York.

The 50-year-old was jailed for three years at York Crown Court yesterday where a judge told him his offences represented “real and gross abuse of children”.

Swallow pleaded guilty to the charges only on the day his trial was due to begin last month.

These were four counts of distributing indecent images, five of making indecent images and one of possessing extreme pornography.

Gerald Hendron, prosecuting, said police carried out a search warrant on Swallow’s home, where he lived with his wife and two children, on September 21, 2013.

Police seized 30 computers and hard drives, of which three were found to contain “incriminating material”.

There was evidence Swallow had used file-sharing software to distribute the indecent images.

Police also found he had used other software to “sanitise” and cover up the images he had been viewing.

Swallow had 372 Category A images, which are the most serious kind, and included 43 videos.

His computers also contained 224 Category B images, 274 of Category C, and three images of extreme pornography.

Mr Hendron said the children in these were five to 10 years old and in some cases 18 months to two years old.

Swallow had also used the search terms ‘rape’ and ‘paedo’.

Mr Hendron said: “It was demonstrable that he had a particular knowledge of computers”.

Mark Partridge, defending, said: “It is quite obvious that the defendant is struggling to come to terms with what he has done.

“This has been a catastrophic fall for the defendant, admitting his darkest secret has not been easy for him.

“He wants to get on with his life. He is surrounded by people that love him.

“He feels that he has let them down. He is continually reminded of the shame of what he has done.”

The Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC told Swallow: “You had an extremely responsible job as a manager with BT.

“I have no doubt that your knowledge in that area played a part in your offending.”

Judge Batty said this and the software Swallow used to try to cover his tracks was a “serious aggravating factor” in the case.

He added: “All of this represents real and gross abuse of children.

“The only mitigating factor was your plea of guilty.”

Because this had come at the latest point, Swallow received only a 10 per cent ‘discount’ in his sentence.

Swallow was jailed for three years in total for the Category A offences and a further 12 months for each other count, but those terms will run concurrently.

Judge Batty also gave him a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which had no time limit.