Bournemouth man who distributed indecent child images is jailed

A pervert who was caught with 71 indecent images and distributed a further 43 images, some including children as young as three, told police he “stumbled across the images” and was collecting more before sending the matter to the police.

Ian Hardwick, 54, of Bath Road, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images, three counts of distributing images, one count of possessing extreme porn, depicting bestiality, and three counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

He was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday.

Prosecuting, Alec Williams said: “These offences came to light as a result of an investigation which began when a member of a national crime agency posing as an adult on social media Kik.

“An engagement began with this defendant who had the username Really Bad Monkey.

“Mr Hardwick began a conversation about the abuse of children which triggered a search warrant to be undertaken of Mr Hardwick’s address.”

Officers found 27 images of category A, the worst category, 25 of which were moving, 13 images of category B, 11 of which were moving and 31 images of category C, four of which were moving.

They also found the defendant had distributed at least 43 images, five of which were category A, two moving and with children as young as three.

Mr Williams added: “He was arrested, interviewed and over the course of that interview gave an account he had initially stumbled across indecent images and was so concerned he was looking to collect more so he could bring the matter to the police.”

Some of the messages sent to the children, who weren’t actually real, including telling an 11-year-old she couldn’t get pregnant if she was on her period and that he wanted to involve her mother in sexual activity.

 Judge Robert Pawson sentenced Hardwick to a total of 30 months in prison.

“I have got no doubt whatsoever you have a sexual interest in children, there is no other explanation for what you did,” Judge Pawson said.

“The behaviour was depraved and utterly cynical. Had the sentence been 24 months I would not have suspended it.”

Hardwick was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely.