March 2017

Bath businessman David Ewins sentenced for breaching sexual harm prevention order

A 74-year-old Bath shop owner has avoided jail after breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

David Ewins of Ace Optics camera shop in Green Street was given the order after he accessed 842 indecent images of children.

He admitted breaching the order and three other offences in a previous hearing and when it resumed today, Bristol Crown Court heard that police visited his home in Keynsham in August 2015.

Prosecutor Richard Posner said: “The circumstances of that offending behaviour, when the defendant was convicted of making indecent images of children, gave rise to concerns.

Officers seized an iPad Mini from the kitchen, a Dell computer tower and an Acer computer – all of which were found to have been used to view adult pornography on the internet of which Ewins was banned from doing.

The Acer computer had also been used to buy Class B drug mephedrone, a small quantity of which was found in the home.

Police also found a small amount of cannabis which Ewins said he was “foolish enough not to throw away”, and CS gas which he had bought 32 years ago in Germany, Mr Posner said.

Ewins was arrested on suspicion of breaching the sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

“The defendant told officers when he was arrested that he felt his life was over, even though he felt he had done nothing wrong.” Mr Posner said.

Ewins has been convicted twice for 22 offences – including 21 counts of making the 842 indecent images for which he was jailed for 12 months in 2008.

The other offence relates to a breach of the order for driving two boys to a football event while on police bail, the court heard. He was sentenced last June.

The SHPO prevents Ewins, the former chairman of the Transport and Highways Committee of Bath’s Chamber of Commerce, accessing pornography on the internet but not by other means.

The hearing heard that the chief constable of Avon and Somerset police will consider varying the order.

Judge Sir John Royce said: “The prohibition was extremely wide.

“It prohibited access to perfectly legal, some would view as distasteful, but nonetheless legal as well as illegal material.

“Pornographic material is available through other means other than the internet.

“This order doesn’t prevent the defendant buying DVDs.

“The condition is a bit onerous and unnecessary.”

But he added: “I suspect that the rationale might have been that if you go on an adult pornography site… some child pornography came up that he hadn’t deliberately downloaded.

“There’s a risk going onto the internet that that situation might arise.

“It’s not a risk if someone goes and gets an adult pornography DVD because the boundaries of that are drawn.”

Sentencing, the judge said: “You’re a man of mature years and it’s apparent from the references on your behalf that you’re a man of many talents who has given much to your community, to your friends and to your family and that’s to your credit.

“There’s such an impressive array of references.

“I also take account of the psychiatric report and it doesn’t seem to me that you currently represent a danger to anyone.

“But these orders have to be respected and complied with and you’ve been in breach before when you had those two boys in your car.

“The custody threshold has been passed but I’m satisfied that it (the prison sentence) should be suspended.”

Ewins, of Langridge Lane, was given a jail term of four months suspended for 12 months for breaching the SHPO.

He received no further penalty for possessing 3.5g of Class B drug mephedrone and 3.5g of cannabis and being in possession of a weapon designed for the discharge of CS gas at his home.

These were described as “curious in the extreme, but in the context of these offences it’s small beer” by the judge.

The forfeiture of his computers and iPad was adjourned because it was said that collectively they’re valuable.

Formerly David Uwins, he changed his surname since his first conviction and was listed on court documents as Ewins.

Update: Has now changed surname to Ewins

October 2008

Businessman jailed for possession of child abuse images

Bath businessman David Uwins was jailed today for downloading horrific images of child abuse images

Uwins, 65, admitted accessing 842 abuse images on his home computer after his credit card details were discovered by American police officers investigating a child pornography website. He used his wife Patricia’s name as a password to the site.

Uwins owns Ace Optics camera shops in Green Street, Bath and in Yate, and is a former chairman of the Transport and Highways Committee of Bath’s Chamber of Commerce.

He was sentenced today at Bristol Crown Court for 12 months to run concurrent on each of the 21 counts of making indecent images of children.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and was banned from having unsupervised contact with children.

The court heard that of the 842 images, 66 were in the worst category and 245, including three movies, were in the next worst category.

Almost all of the images downloaded are of children under the age of 10.

Uwins, who used the website between 2004 and 2006, told police that he had paid for adult pornography and a pop-up browser had invited him to view indecent images of children.

Brendon Moorhouse, mitigating, said Uwins, of Langridge, near Bath, no longer had an interest in these types of images and it was a curiosity at the time.

“He is a man very much in the public eye and the publicity caused by this case has had an impact on his business as suppliers are now declining to continue contracts with him.

“He and his partner have been subject to verbal abuse from neighbours.”

Judge Martin Picton said: “This is not child porn, it is child abuse.

“They are of the most gross and awful, and children suffered to produce those images.

“The children involved in a number of those images were babies being abused and you paid for that privilege on three occasions.

“It increases the potential to perpetuate and encourage the abuse of more children to feed a market that is profit driven.”

After the hearing, the investigating officer at Avon and Somerset Police’s internet child abuse team said the images downloaded by Uwins were among the most horrific she had ever seen.

Detective Constable Abi Hodder said: “I have been involved in investigating this type of crime for many years and these images are some of the worst I have seen.

“I have no doubt that people like Mr Uwins who subscribe to these sites generate a demand for others to continue to sexually abuse innocent children.

“There is no hiding place on the internet for those that seek sexual gratification from these types of images.”