October 2017

Suspended sentence for Blackwood teenager found with 1,031 indecent images on laptop

A teenager who downloaded more than 1,000 indecent images – some of children as young as three – has been given a suspended jail sentence by a judge.

Jacob Richards, of Mountain View, in Markham, was arrested in October 24 last year following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.

Officers, finding the 19-year-old in bed, seized a laptop and phone and found around 1,031 images alone on the laptop, Newport Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

John Warren, prosecuting, said this included 972 images and 57 videos, with 225 images and 52 videos, of this total, in the most serious category ‘A’.

Another 364 images and six videos were found in category B and 383 images and one video in category C – with children aged between three and 17.

Richards pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images and one count of sending a category A video screenshot, peer to peer, via a online forum.

Mr Warren added that Richards had “shown no remorse” for his actions and was “belligerent” and “uncooperative” during interviews with police.

The court heard that Richards also had several previous convictions as a youth, ranging from GBH and theft to criminal damage and that had viewed indecent images for about two years.

Judge Daniel Williams, sentencing, said: “Behind each image is a real child and real abuse taking place and the agony of those involved can only by greater if they know they’re abuse was a spectator sport”.

He added that the only mitigating factory Richards age, sentencing him to 12 months in prison – suspended for two years.

He also cited the age of the victims in the images and the teen’s involvement in a “sharing network” as aggravating features

Richards will be listed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and banned from working with vulnerable children or adults in the future under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

The Markham teen must also take part in the Horizon programme – which provides rehabilitation treatment for sex offenders.