September 2020

‘I want my computer back’: Paedophile caught downloading child pictures tells judge

A pervert caught downloading hundreds of indecent images of children asked a judge to return his computer.

Paul Adamson’s desktop computer was seized by police when they raided his home in April last year.

Almost 1,300 illegal images, including some videos were discovered on the machine and Bolton Crown Court heard how Adamson had made efforts to conceal his crime by using erasing software.

But as he was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, Adamson, of Thornham Drive, Sharples, asked for his computer back, minus the hard drives used to store the pictures.

“This computer cost Mr Adamson a great deal of money,” said Christopher Hopkins, defending.

But Judge Timothy Stead told him: “I direct that the computer is to be forfeit and destroyed. It is something that you used in order to commit offences and you used it in its entirety.”

The court heard how police, acting on information, visited father-of-two Adamson’s home with a search warrant and, when the computer was examined 152 of the most serious category A illegal images were found along with 228 in category B and 918 in category C.

Simon Barrett, prosecuting, said: “The defendant had taken active steps to conceal and destroy evidence of his offending.

“He did so by the installation of a tor browser (which enables anoymous communication), freenet software and repeated use of Eraser, which is a program designed to remove all recoverable traces of files and activity from his computing device.”

The children depicted in the images found on Adamson’s computer were aged between six and 16 and the pictures had been downloaded over a six month period.

“The defendant was arrested, interviewed and fully admitted the offences, indicating that he had been downloading those indecent images from what he referred to as, the dark web,” said Mr Barrett.

Adamson, who is employed, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs of children.  

As well as the suspended prison sentence Adamson was ordered to participate in 30 days of rehabilitation activities and pay £250 towards prosecution costs.

He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.