December 2017

Student caught with images of children after plugging USB drive into college laptop

A engineering student has been jailed for 20 months for distributing indecent images of children on a global scale.

Thomas Michael Juniper, of Orchard Way, in Harwell, was arrested after staff at the university technical college he attended discovered he had plugged a USB containing indecent images of children into a college laptop 

The 19-year-old, who shared the images using apps iHappy and Kik, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court today.

He had been charged with three counts of distributing indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent images of children, one count of possessing an extreme image and one count of possessing prohibited images of children.

In April, staff at Oxfordshire UTC, in Harwell, contacted police after discovering a USB device containing indecent images had been plugged into a laptop used by Juniper.

Police visited the college and spoke with staff, including the headmaster, before arresting Juniper and seizing devices from him, including a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, a computer and the USB stick.

They found hundreds of indecent images and movies on all of the devices, including images of children as young as six.

Jane Davies, prosecuting, explained that Juniper used, initially, an iFunny account to share the images and then a Kik account. On the Kik account a separate, private account was set up called ‘anything goes’.

The prosecution said the distribution ‘would have been worldwide’.

In discussions with police, the court heard how Juniper had accepted there was an extensive distribution network..

Delivering the sentence, Judge Ian Pringle QC emphasised that Juniper’s crime was far from victimless.

He said: “Anyone with the misfortune to see the type of images would know the horror with which most people would view them.

“For those who think there is no real victim – that is a real child who has really been abused.”

For the three distribution counts, Judge Pringle sentenced Juniper to 20 months in prison. For the three counts of making indecent images, he was given an eight month sentence. He was also given a sentence of eight months for each of the other two counts.

All sentences are to run concurrently.

A destruction order was made for the seized devices.

He was also expelled fromthe college.