June 2021

Paedophile downloaded and exchanged pictures of child sexual abuse using secret phones

A convicted sex offender was chatting to fellow paedophiles and exchanging images of child sex abuse using secret smartphones, a court has heard.

Wayne Hartley is banned from owing internet-enabled devices unless he tells the police about them and makes them available for inspection.

But during a surprise visit to his home a couple of days before Christmas officers uncovered two smartphones – and found he had been using them to contact fellow paedophiles, and to share images.

In response to one of the videos of child sex abuse he was sent by a contact the 45-year-old defendant replied: “Mmmmm”.

Swansea Crown Court heard that on December 21 last year police made an unannounced visit to Hartley’s home in Swansea. Ashanti-Jade Walton, prosecuting, said the defendant was being managed and monitored by South Wales Police’s public protection unit after being made the subject of a community order in 2018 for possession of indecent images.

The court heard that when questioned Hartley denied owning any internet-capable devices – but the officers spotted a wi-fi router in the property.

When quizzed about it, and the defendant said he used it for streaming Netflix programmes and films.

However, while officers were at the address a friend of the defendant popped in for a visit, and she confirmed to police she regularly spoke to Hartley on the phone, and via Facebook.

Hartley again denied having any phones, but a search uncovered a gold coloured Samsung smartphone and a rose gold Apple iPhone. The court heard told officers “there will just be a few images of boys on it”.

A forensic examination of the phones found a total of 41 videos and photos in Category A – showing the most extreme kinds of sexual abuse – along images in both Category B and Category C.

Investigators also found he had communicating with fellow paedophiles on secure messaging apps such as Telegram – where his username was Smoothc*ck45 – and had sent and received indecent videos.

In response to one of the films of sexual abuse sent to him by another person on Telegram the defendant had replied: “Mmmmm”.

Wayne Richard Mark Hartley, of Bryn Eithin, Gowerton, Swansea, had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images, to one charge of distributing images, and to breaching a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) by owning smartphones he had not notified the police about when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

At Swansea Crown Court in 2018 he was made the subject of a 24 month community order and a five-year SHPO for possession of indecent images.

David Singh, for Hartley, said the only real mitigation he could put forward was his client’s guilty pleas. He said the defendant had moved to Swansea for work, his client being a forklift truck driver.

Judge Paul Thomas QC said Hartley had told police officers “brazen and bare-faced” lies when they attended his house in December.

Giving the defendant a one-third discount for his guilty pleas the judge sentenced him to two years and four months in prison.

Hartley will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community. The length of the SHPO was extended by 10 years.

March 2018

Paedophile caught after he sold his phone, but failed to delete the child sex images on it

A man who had downloaded indecent images of children being abused was arrested after selling his mobile phone without deleting the images.

Wayne Richard Mark Hartley had advertised his iPhone 5 for sale on Facebook, and arranged to meet the buyer’s son outside the Job Centre in Swansea’s High Street last September.

Swansea Crown Court was told that after handing over the money, the son took the phone to his father, who discovered it had not been reset, and ‘mindful of privacy’, attempted to contact Harley to give him a chance to do so.

However, unable to contact Hartley, of Geiriol Road in Townhill , the phone’s new owner attempted to reset the phone himself, and when he did so discovered indecent images of children, and immediately took it to a police station and handed it over.

Prosecuting, Kevin Jones said the phone was found to have 19 images of category A, the most serious level of abuse, 11 of which were moving images, eight in category B, and 11 in category C. In addition, there were also five prohibited indecent images of children, namely cartoon images of children in sexual activity.

Forensic examination of his phone revealed he had used search terms including, ‘Mummy and son porn’.

Mr Jones added: “Police attended his home address that day, and he accepted it was his own phone, and nothing to do with his partner.

“He confirmed he had been looking at indecent images of children, and said he had been looking at them for a couple of weeks before.

“He said he had been trying to delete them but could not, and said he knew he had a problem.”

Hartley pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children, and one of possession of indecent images.

Sentencing, Recorder Simon Mills said: “You frankly admitted you are sexually aroused by the sight of pre-pubescent boys, but there is no evidence you have gone on and tried to touch one in a sexual way.

“But what you have done, in particular with the category A images, is you have been looking at pictures and films of adults sexually abusing children in a penetrative way, almost always concerning children being raped.

“It has been identified that any concern is the predicament you are in and not the harm being done to the children in these pictures.

“You have to change.

“The facts reflect an attempt to stop. You sold the phone to get rid of them, but had not taken the obvious step of formating the memory of the phone.

“If you wanted to put it behind you, you should have broken it. Selling it was an odd thing to do, because you did not delete the pictures.”

Hartley, aged 42, was given a two-year community order, with a 40 day rehabilitation requirement, and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order.

He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to recompense the buyer of his phone, as well as an £85 surcharge.