April 2021

Perverts haul of indecent images

A pervert has been spared prison for possession of thousands of indecent photographs and videos of children and animals.

Piers Waters, a father of three, downloaded 1.7 million images between 2017 and 2019, Reading Crown Court heard.

The 45-year-old, of Buckingham Gate, Emmer Green, admitted the offence and was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

The court heard that when Waters was first interviewed by police he answered all questions with “No comment”.

He only owned up once the offending files were found on devices seized from his home.

He was charged with making 871 of the most serious kind of images involving children and animals, 1,280 which were less explicit and 246,000 images of the least serious.

Iwona Boesche, prosecuting, said police found a number of terms in Waters’s internet browsing history which pointed to him searching for sexual images of children.

These included one which refers to a website where users can chat to strangers and is known for being frequented by sexual predators.

Ms Boesche said: “A lot of files were inaccessible but that doesn’t mean Mr Waters did not access them, it just means they were deleted from the device having been previously downloaded.

“The aggravating features are the huge volume of images and moving images and the period they were possessed, which is a year. There must have been a huge number of victims.”

Waters, who earns £65,000 a year as a service compliance manager. The court heard that Waters is separated from his wife

Sentencing, Judge Anne Studd said: “You have no previous convictions and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and you’ve undertaken impressive steps to improve yourself, which allows me to make a suspended order.”

Waters was also ordered to take part in 25 days of rehabilitation activities and 70 hours of unpaid work and to pay £425 costs and a victim surcharge of £140.