Feb 2007

Prison for paedophile

A BARRY paedophile who worked at Barry Police Station has been sent to prison after committing a catalogue of sex crimes.

Tomas Curtis, aged 21, of Wye Close, was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday, after pleading guilty to charges of indecently assaulting a young boy, taking indecent pictures of boys and downloading a total of 36,407 pornographic images of children.

More than 1,000 of the images were classed as Level Five – the classification for the most disturbing and explicit of images – and some were entitled ‘Boy Bondage’ and ‘You Like Them Young’.

Judge Stephen Hopkins QC gave Curtis a three-and-a-half-year sentence, half of which will be spent on licence. The court heard that Curtis was employed at Barry Police Station’s lost-and-found department.

His depraved fascination with child pornography was unearthed when police came to his home to reclaim a mobile phone he had confessed to stealing – among others – from the department.

They became concerned about pictures they saw in the house and searched his computer, discovering thousands of images.

Jennet Treharne, defending, told the court she believed that Curtis was making a “cry for help” when he admitted stealing, knowing that if he told police that one of the phones was in his house, they would come to his home and subsequently discover his computer loaded with the disturbing images.

This happened in February 2006.

After Curtis was charged and bailed, he purchased another computer and downloaded more images.

When police searched his property for the second time, as well as the images on the computer, they found a digital camera memory card containing images of two young boys. One boy was pictured with his trousers pulled down and another was photographed with Curtis touching him in a sexual manner.

The court heard how Curtis indecently assaulted the latter boy when he was asleep, having plied him with cider. The court was also told that Curtis had what the judge referred to as a “physiological deformity” when he was younger.

Ms Treharne asserted that Curtis may have been looking at other boys out of “medical interest”.

Judge Hopkins told Curtis: “The effect you have had on this boy is one which has shattered his world. He now has difficulties with his studies and feels betrayed.”

Sentencing Curtis, Judge Hopkins said: “It is depraved people like you that fuel this sick trade in child pornography, and the continual sexual abuse of children – some very young.

“Although I accept you have had physical problems as an adolescent, I reject the assertion that your sickening obsession stems from any problems you may have had. The degradation and abuse in the Level Five images is sickening and distressing, particularly to have to look at.”

Judge Hopkins told Curtis he was to register as a sex offender and would be banned from working with children for life.

Furthermore, Curtis is also prohibited from being in the company with any boy under the age of 18, unless the child’s parent or legal guardian is present, and all of his computer equipment is to be permanently removed.