A man collected more than 10,000 images of child abuse for sexual kicks, a court has heard.
When police raided Kevin Arthur Williams’ house looking for his electronic devices the defendant apologised to his wife, adding: “I did a bad thing”.
The 50-year-old would later say he was relieved officers had come knocking on his door as his consumption of child abuse images was “out of control”.
Ieuan Rees, prosecuting, said Williams’ wife and son were present during the raid and the defendant was heard by officers to apologise to his partner, tell her he had used his computer to access stuff he should not have, and that he had done a “bad thing”.
Police seized a number of electronic devices then Williams handed over a USB memory stick which had been in his wallet, telling officers they would have found it when they searched him and adding: “There’s stuff on there too.”
The court heard that when the devices were examined police found more than 10,000 indecent images including 1,928 of Category A, the most extreme kind, which had been downloaded over the course of some 15 months. Some of the children being abused in the images were as young as six.
The court heard officers found another 30,000 pictures had been deleted from the devices, suggesting Williams had been accessing and storing such material for a considerable length of time.
The defendant subsequently gave a “no comment” interview to police. Williams, now of Cowbridge Road, Bridgend, admitted three counts of possessing incident images. The court heard he has no previous convictions.
David Pinnell, for Williams, said his client had assisted police when they came to his house and had been candid in his probation interview when, unlike many offenders, he had admitted the sexual motivation behind his offending.
He said the defendant was genuinely remorseful for what he had done and after the initial shock of the raid had “welcomed the intervention of the police” as his accessing of such material had become “out of control” and “something he could not deal with”.
The barrister said Williams had voluntarily completed courses with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation – a charity that works to tackle sexual abuse – and while “not looking for redemption” was looking for help to take steps to ensure he did not re-offend.
Judge Catherine Richards told Williams that though the court talked in terms of “images” it was important to remember that they real children being sexually abused and hurt – abuse the defendant was contributing to by his actions.
She said given everything she had read and heard about the case and the defendant she was persuaded that rehabilitation was possible and an immediate prison was not necessary.
Giving the defendant a one-third credit for his guilty pleas she sentenced him to 16 months prison suspended for 18 months and ordered him to complete a rehabilitation course and 100 hours of unpaid work. Williams was made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order to control his access to the internet and will be a registered sex offender for the same length of time.