December 2003

`MINISTER` JAILED FOR CHILD SEX

DEPRAVED paedophile Vaughan Evans was this week starting a five year jail sentence for a catalogue of child sex offences that included setting up his own website specialising in pictures of babies and children under the age of three.

Grandfather Evans, who described himself as a minister and member of the Spiritual Humanist Church, was convicted of two counts of indecently assaulting a boy, starting to “groom” him when he was as young as seven and then putting perverted pictures of him on another of his websites.

Evans, 51, who used to live at Colwell Chine Road in Freshwater at the time of the offences, moved to Albion Road, Brighton, after he was snared in a police operation which began in Croatia, Portsmouth Crown Court was told.

Operation Cranford was launched by police in this country after Croatian officers discovered an e-mail from Evans specifically asking for pictures of children under the age of three.

Evans admitted two counts of indecent assault on the boy, two counts of having indecent images, two of distributing them, one of inciting distribution and 20 of making them. The charges related to a 34-month period ending on July 23.

Robert Bryan, prosecuting, told the court on Monday it was early in the morning of July 23 that Evans’s Freshwater home was raided by police after discovery of the Croatian connection.

His computer was seized and he initially denied offences, saying that someone in an Islamic country may have been setting him up because of his response to injustices there.

He told police: “I know my memory is up the shoot, but I think I would remember doing something as nasty as that.”

But after the boy came forward and as more images were found and details emerged of two pornographic websites and another paedophile one, in which he specialised in very young children, Evans made full admissions.

“He was the moderator. He effectively ran the groups and decided who got access to them,” said Mr Bryan.

On his computer hard drive and 64 floppy disks, 2,043 indecent images were found.

Nearly seven out of ten were children and 44 were in the most serious category showing sadistic acts being committed on children.

Evans was of previously good character.

Evans’ barrister, Jenny Knight, said her client realised there was little meaningful mitigation for these particular offences but he had done all he could to save the boy from having to re-live his ordeal by making full admissions even before there was evidence of some offences.

She added: “He has suffered kidney damage as a result of suicide attempts on a number of occasions. The most serious was in mid-September last year when he was in hospital for three weeks.

“He has genuine feelings of shame and remorse. He will take part in rehabilitation courses in prison and a sentence to which he could see an end will allow him to make plans to rebuild his life and not make the mistakes he has admitted today.”

Sentencing Evans, Judge Tom MacKean, who viewed some of the material, told him: “I have seen from the expressions on the faces of some of these children how they must have suffered to deliver the titillation that people like you wish to experience.”