Pervert who claimed Russian hacker responsible for downloading child pornography jailed - The Rugby Observer

Pervert who claimed Russian hacker responsible for downloading child pornography jailed

A PERVERTED Rugby man has been jailed for downloading child pornography – after a judge rejected his explanation that a Russian hacker had been responsible as ‘utterly fanciful’.

John Smith had originally pleaded not guilty to seven charges of making indecent images of children, only admitting his guilt at a pre-trial hearing at Warwick Crown Court.

But he entered his pleas on the basis he had no sexual interest in children, and had not searched for the images which must have ended up on his computer either recklessly or because of the actions of a Russian hacker.

That was rejected by Judge Philip Gregory, who jailed the 68 year-old, of Beswick Gardens, for a year and ordered him to register as a sex offender for ten years following a ‘trial of issue’ at Coventry Crown Court.

Prosecutor John O’Higgins said after the police seized Smith’s computer tower and an external hard drive last year, they found a number of indecent images of children on them.

There were a total of 82 movies – many showing girls being subjected to penetrative sex acts – and 126 photos.

Dc John Cook, from the West Mercia Police high-tech crime unit, told the court the images had been downloaded using peer-to-peer file-sharing software installed on Smith’s computer.

He added some of them had been moved and then deleted using a program called Evidence Eliminator.

Dc Cook explained no evidence had been found that any person took control of Smith’s computer and used its functions from an external source.

Peter Cooper, defending, suggested it was not impossible for a computer to be hacked without there being any sign of it.

But Dc Cook responded: “Nothing’s impossible. It’s highly improbable that I will walk on the moon, but it’s not impossible.”

Giving evidence, Smith denied deliberately downloading the images or having any sexual interest in children or incest.

He said he used the file-sharing software to download films, music or drivers for discarded laptop computers, which he repaired and sold on ebay, and once he had carried out a search he would simply highlight the list of results and download them all.

Smith asserted that when he then opened the files and came across anything ‘unnecessary or abhorrent,’ he would move it onto another drive and then delete it.

He said he ‘clicked on anything and everything,’ and asked why he continued to do so after seeing the type of material he was getting, he replied: “Because I’m not giving in to hackers. They’ve hacked into my email address, a chap in Russia.”

Rejecting Smith’s explanations, Judge Gregory said Smith had taken steps to transfer files to a different hard drive, and they were readily identifiable as relating to indecent images of children by the titles attributed to them.

Judge Gregory added: “His explanation is that he was searching for a variety of items, and that he secured the item he was looking for but that it was accompanied by other material in which he had no interest.

“Alternatively [he suggests] that some unknown person hacked into his computer and used it to download indecent images of children without his knowledge or control.

“I regard that suggestion as utterly fanciful, and a measure of the desperation to which he was driven to seek to explain the presence of the images.

Jailing him, Judge Gregory told Smith: “The fact that you engaged in this behaviour indicates at the very least that you had some form of sexual interest in children.

“You have shown precious little, if any, insight into the damage young children suffer as a consequence of being subjected to vile abuse of this nature.”

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