A Peterborough pensioner who was caught in possession of more than 100 indecent images of children later asked his friend to wipe his computer memory, a court heard.
William Windsor, of Wisbech Road, Thorney, near Peterborough, was visited by the police for an unrelated matter in November 2017 – for which he later faced no further action.
However, while officers were at the 72-year-old’s home they seized his computer tower, which was later found to contain indecent images of children.
In total, there were 121 images, including 72 category C images, 20 category B images and 29 category A images – the most severe.
Windsor was arrested and interviewed but denied all knowledge of the images and was released on bail.
He then handed his laptop to his friend and asked him to get it wiped, but the friend instead handed it to the police.
A further six indecent images were found on the laptop – one category C image, four category B images and two category A images.
In two subsequent police interviews, Windsor denied having any knowledge of the indecent images or how they came to be on his devices.
He told officers the only photos on his devices were of ‘holidays and steam trains’ and denied asking his friend to wipe his laptop of any evidence.
However, Windsor later admitted perverting the course of justice and two counts of making indecent images of children.
He pleaded guilty to the offences at Peterborough Crown Court today (10 June) and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Windsor was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for 10 years and put on the Sex Offenders Register for the same time period.
DC Amanda Sylvester, who investigated, said: “Firstly, I would like to thank Windsor’s friend, who did exactly the right thing and brought the laptop to us – helping to further strengthen our case.
“Although Windsor didn’t have any direct contact with children, each image he downloaded represented a child being exploited.
“We will continue to do all we can to safeguard the vulnerable by pursuing people who commit sexual offences against children.
“Thanks to this sentence we will have the necessary powers to monitor his online activity for the next ten years, minimising the risk of further harm to the public.”
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “By downloading these images Windsor fuelled a vile trade that thrives upon the sickening sexual abuse of vulnerable children.
“By reporting his friend, the man who went to the police highlights how we can all play a part in protecting children and should speak out about any worries without delay.
“Adults concerned about child abuse images can contact the NSPCC helpline is available on 0808 800 500 or via firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.”
Child protection is a force priority. Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to someone, can apply for disclosure information through Clare’s Law and Sarah’s Law.