July 2003

Pervert caught by credit card

A successful businessman who downloaded 1,082 child porn photographs on his computer has been jailed for three years at Worcester Crown Court.

Ashley Smith was caught because he subscribed to an American website using his credit card.

Seven of the pictures seized by police contained images of the worst kind, which are either of sadism or bestiality, said Alex Warren, prosecuting.

He added the youngest victim was aged only three.

Smith, a 43-year-old married man, of Rushock Close, Woodrow South, pleaded guilty to 10 specimen counts of making indecent images, three of distributing them and one of possession.

Smith was trapped in a nationwide police inquiry codenamed Operation Ore, said Mr Warren.

Police raided his home on November 12 and found he had been a subscriber to a porn site in the 1990s called Innocent Virgins.

Smith developed a perverse interest in porn while working in the computer industry, said Simon Phillips, defending.

He did not have a long-term behavioural problem.

He had been a successful businessman but lost his job when his offending came to light.

An educated man with a university degree, he was ashamed of his behaviour.

Mr Phillips said his family was disgusted although his 38-year-old wife was standing by him.