A MAN who had more than 1,000 indecent images of children stored on his computer has been jailed for a year.
Lee Groves downloaded the images of young girls over a five year period, often through contact with like-minded people.
And when the 52-year-old’s computer was examined investigators found hundreds of pictures of extreme pornography involving a animals having sex with adults.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court he was caught after investigations showed he had visited illegal web sites.
“He had a number of hard drives and computers on all of which were a collection of indecent images of children,” she said.
When questioned he denied anything would be on the machines but later accepted they were there.
He said he used peer to peer software to share files and had a program to recover memory if there was a fatal error on the machine.
Miss Hingston said the search history on the computer also showed he had used a number of terms like ‘nude pre-teen model’ over a five year period.
Groves, of Upham Road, admitted nine counts of making and one of possessing indecent images of children and one of extreme pornography.
He had 1,368 pictures of children, accrued between April 2006 and December 2011, and 207 of adults engaging in sex acts with animals.
Grahame James, defending, said almost all of the images were at level one, the lowest, and for his personal use, not distribution.
He said Groves had never been in trouble with the police before and was arrested more than two years ago and had been awaiting his fate ever since.
“That has had an oppressive impact, awaiting to know what is going to happen,” he said. “Since he was charged the company he works for suspended him, and he has always worked. “That information got out and the local people have been outside his house shouting ‘paedophile.’ He urged the court to impose a suspended sentence, saying Groves would not get the help he needed on short period in custody.
Jailing him Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “When the police apprehended you, you had several computers with these hard drives.
“You used peer to peer software to access files. It seems to me that means you were linked with like- minded people “Over 1,300 images of children being abused were present on the memories of these computers: 23 at level four and one at level five.
“I take into account your age and the fact that you have no relevant convictions and that it has taken significant time for this matter to come to court so it can be finally resolved.
“I take the view this is so serious only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.”
He also imposed a sexual offences prevention order restricting Groves’ liberty for ten years, the same period he must register as a sex offender.
Detective Sergeant Jason Roberts of the Child Internet Exploitation Team said: “Wiltshire Police are fully committed to the continued targeting of those individuals who possess and distribute indecent images of children.
“And those who choose to sexually exploit children by way of social internet forums. "Members of the public are encouraged to contact Wiltshire Police or Crimestoppers if they suspect persons are involved in this type of criminal offending so that individuals can be apprehended and children safeguarded at the earliest opportunity.”
Anyone with information should contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 55 111 where information can be left anonymously.