March 2021

Worcester pervert with sick images of child rape costs taxpayer ‘thousands’

A depraved pervert who had vile sexual images of children as young as two being raped is now behind bars after costing taxpayers ‘thousands’.

Depraved Joshua Bone of Worcester dragged his heels, admitting downloading the ‘ghastly’ images from the ‘dark web’ before attempting to deny responsibility, even instructing ‘experts’ in a cynical attempt to escape justice.

As a result, it has taken four years from the date of his offences to his final admissions and sentence at Worcester Crown Court yesterday, prevarication which has cost the taxpayer ‘thousands’ and at a time when the public purse is already under huge strain during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright, who jailed him for 50 weeks, said Bone’s actions in the ‘protracted history’ of the case showed his lack of remorse and that he could not be rehabilitated in the community, sending him straight to jail instead.

The 29-year old of Toulouse Drive, Norton, Worcester admitted making 21 indecent images of children at category A, the worst kind, between February 17 and April 17, 2017.

He also admitted making two indecent images at category B and three at category C. All but two images were videos rather than stills, an aggravating feature of the case as were the number of children being abused and the ages of the children, described as ‘so desperately young and vulnerable’ by the judge.

Judge Cartwright described some of the films in open court, details which are too graphic to report in full. He told the court some of the videos were around an hour long with titles like ‘Lolita’ and ‘four-year-old’ and showed children suffering penetrative sexual abuse.

One video recorded the rape of a two-year-old girl and another showed a girl of 10 tied to a bench and being sexually assaulted. Some showed children being abused by more than one adult and others displayed compilations of different children being molested

The children being abused were aged two, four, six, 10, 11 and 13 years old.  

The defendant, who showed no emotion when he learned he was going to prison, said himself in interview: “It’s the dark web for a reason – it’s horrible.”

Judge Cartwright said: “The offences relating to the viewing, making or distribution of these sorts of images is always regarded as so serious because these are real children against whom the most dreadful sexual offences, such as those I have just described, are actually being carried out and filmed so that these films can be circulated to people who have an interest in viewing such things.”

The judge also spoke of the physical and psychological harm caused to children by such abuse. He told Bone they grow up knowing the ‘ghastly offences committed against them will be out there on the internet for all time, for the whole of the rest of their lives and beyond’.

He also said that without men like Bone downloading these images there would be no demand and it was the demand which drove the supply and therefore fuelled the abuse.

Andrew Wilkins, prosecuting, said the matter came to court following a search of Bone’s home in July 2017 following a police investigation into a website known as Paradise Village.

During that search officers seized a Dell computer tower where the images were found. Mr Wilkins said: “He was interviewed about the matter in July and October 2017. The proceedings started in April 2018. It has taken a very long time to get to this stage.”

The starting point in the sentencing guidelines is a year’s custody with a range available to the sentencing judge of between 26 weeks and three years.

Judge Cartwright ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the computer tower which contained the images. He also ordered Bone to pay a £2,000 contribution towards costs because of the large number of hearings, caused because the defendant declined to admit his guilt.

The judge told him: “This represents only a small fraction of the total cost to the taxpayer because the court has obviously been involved on all these occasions and a significant sum has been expended upon what turned out to be totally unnecessary expert reports that have been pursued and pursued by you despite the fact that, when you were first interviewed about this matter, you admitted that you had viewed the images on your computer.”

This amount must be paid back over two years. Judge Cartwright also imposed a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years. This restricts Bone’s use of the internet and devices and his contact with children.

For example he must make any devices available to a monitoring police officer on request for inspection, must not delete his search history or install anti-forensic software or use social media to contact any child under the age of 16.

As a convicted sex offender he is now also subject to notification requirements, again for a period of 10 years.

Bone can expect to serve half his sentence in custody and half in the community on licence.