Retired miner's child porn image shame

Reporter:

Court Reporter

Retired miner William Sharp was found to have a collection of child sex abuse images when police searched his home.

Mold Crown Court heard how police executed a search warrant and seized computer and storage equipment in April.

Sharp, aged 70, of Rhodfa Anwyl in Rhuddlan, admitted possessing 22 Category A images – the most serious – 19 Category B, 250 Category C and 126 prohibited images.

There were also pseudo images where the heads or bodies of children and adults had been superimposed onto other images, explained prosecuting  barrister Simon Mills.

Judge Niclas Parry imposed an eight month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and placed him on 60 days rehabilitation to deal with some of the issues that he had.

Sharp was ordered to register with the police as a sex offender and a ten year sexual harm prevention order was made.

That allows him to use the internet but he must not delete the history of its use and he must make the equipment he used available to the police for inspection.

Judge Parry said that Sharp was a man of good character.

“To say that you have acted out of character would be an understatement, to put it mildly,” he said.

He had led a hard working life as a miner in the local pit, he had been married for 47 years and he had contributed to his community and to the well-being of his colleagues.

But he had admitted viewing images of extremely young and vulnerable children being sexually abused.

He had shown genuine remorse. “You now understand that what you were doing was perpetuating what is a scourge of modern society.

“You were creating a demand for more of these images by viewing them.”

Judge Parry said that the fact that some of the images were movies only aggravated the matter.

“There must be a custodial sentence,” he said.

But the guidelines made it clear, particularly in a case such as his, that any custodial sentence would be extremely short and he would be released back into the community without any issues being addressed.

He said that the public would be far better served by the sentence being suspended and his issues being addressed.

He had pleaded guilty, it was a small number of images and he was already starting to address his issues by self-help.

People who had taken the time to write to the court could not speak more highly of him.

Mr Mills said that in interview the defendant was frank and admitted what he had done.

He said that he was ashamed.

An examination of his computer and other equipment showed that they contained images of children as young as two.

One category A image depicted a child aged about five being raped, and a category B image features two girls and a boy aged between seven and ten.

There were also images where a child’s head had been superimposed on other images.

Defending barrister Simon Killeen said that his client had reached the age of 70 without troubling the courts.

He said that he would not mitigate further when the judge indicated that he was intending to pass a suspended prison sentence.

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