Padiham milkman caught with child porn stash

Scales
Scales

A Padiham milkman who had a stash of internet child porn was caught after he was burgled and his computer was taken to the police, a court heard.

Pennine magistrates were told how father-of-three Andrew Howell (48) had downloaded about 80 images of young girls, including two short video clips. Some pictures were said by the police to show girls who looked as young as 10.

The hearing was told none of the photos showed girls taking part in sexual activity. The children were in a number of poses and the images included nude teen beauty pageants.

Howell, of South Drive, Padiham, admitted six allegations of making an indecent photograph of a child, on or between October 4th and November 30th, last year at Padiham. The self-employed defendant, who was of previous good character, was given a three-year supervision order by the bench. Chairman Stephen Riley told him: “We need to punish you and protect the public.”

Howell was told to attend the internet sex offenders programme and must obey a six-week curfew, between 6pm and 11-45pm, seven days a week. The defendant, who was ordered to sign the sexual offenders’ register for five years, was told to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Prosecutor Dominic Howell said Howell’s house was burgled and the computer was recovered by somebody and handed in to the police. The indecent images were found when officers looked at it.

The computer had about 80 indecent images of young girls on it, some of whom looked as young as 10. When the defendant was questioned, he said he thought the people in the images were older. He said he believed some of them were adults.

Daniel Frazer (defending) said Howell could not explain why he had looked at the images. He had not taken them himself, he simply downloaded them.

The solicitor said the defendant, who had had a relationship breakdown, had gone through personal turmoil since the offences. Mr Frazer continued:”He has caused a lot of upset and distress and he realises the only person to blame is himself.”

The solicitor said:”This is not something Mr Howell takes lightly and he’s genuinely remorseful for what he’s done.”

Mr Frazer told the court although custody would be justified the defendant would not get the help and support the probation service was willing to offer him. He continued: “Three years’ supervision is quite an onerous order, but he gets three years’ worth of intervention, which will not only assist him, but provide three years of protection for the public.”

Mr Frazer said Howell was willing to abide by any order of the court. He added: “The defendant is aware of the stigma which comes with being attached to the register. He has lost his good character, which is a further punishment.”>