August 2019

Judge labels Chester man ‘a danger to children’ after more than 1,000 indecent images found

A former teacher from Chester has been labelled “a danger to children” for owning more than 1,000 indecent images and videos of children – with victims aged as young as three.

Colin Thomas Graham, 58, of Ringway, Waverton, claimed to have had an interest in boys aged 15 and 16.

But Judge Patrick Thompson, sitting at Chester Crown Court where Graham was sentenced on Friday, August 16, rejected that claim as “rubbish”, saying the defendant was trying to “hoodwink” him and the probation and noted the offences featured boys and girls far younger than that.

“If he wants help for this sick and twisted perversion, I want him to admit the reality of the situation,” Judge Thompson said.

Graham was spared an immediate custodial term as Judge Thompson said he had thought “a great deal” over the sentence, before ruling a suspended sentence with a community order would be preferable.

Graham was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete a two-year community order to include 35 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement.

This would include going on the Horizon group programme for sex offenders.

Prosecuting, Philip Hall said 1,081 indecent images, plus 2,277 cartoon and ‘Manga-style’ prohibited images, were found in Graham’s possession.

Among the indecent images were 330 deemed as ‘category A’ – the most serious category – including 106 videos.

They in turn included indecent acts on boys and girls, mostly aged between five and 10 years old but the youngest of them just three years old.

The offence came to light when Graham’s mother took the computer to a computer repair shop in Chester in November 2014.

Repair shop staff noticed the indecent images were on the computer and contacted police.

At the time, Graham was teaching in Turkey, and police efforts were made to contact him via email.

He was arrested when he returned to the UK in December 2017.

Graham had no previous convictions or cautions and had pleaded guilty at his first crown court appearance.

Judge Thompson, sentencing Graham, told him: “I am afraid you are a danger to children.

“The first thing you need to accept is you have a serious problem.

“The material is made for the commercial market. It’s made for men like you. If the market was not there the material would not be made.

“I have had to give this a great deal of thought – it troubles me, men like you. I can give you one opportunity – you only get one; you must take this course.”

As well as the suspended sentence and community order, Graham was made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order – which limits his ability to use computers – and must sign the sex offenders register.

The devices used to access the indecent and prohibited images were to be forfeited and destroyed.