July 2019

Wedding off after police find indecent images at groom, Paul Ward’s, York home

A bridegroom lost his 16-year relationship and his job when police raided his home shortly before his wedding, York Crown Court heard.

Police officers found indecent images of children and extreme pornography at Paul Ward’s home in June last year, said prosecutor Rob Galley.

His barrister Taryn Turner said: “He was looking forward to his impending marriage later that month.

“The consequences of the police raid is that relationship has been iced and he is now back living with his parents.

“This has been a traumatic and devastating experience for this defendant.”

The couple had been together for 16 years.

Ward had also lost his job when his employer, who had originally been prepared to wait for the outcome of the police investigation, lost patience last December.

Ward, 38, of Eden Close, Woodthorpe, pleaded guilty to two charges of having indecent images of children and one of having extreme pornography.

Judge Peter Kelson QC told Ward: “You visibly appear to me to be a quivering wreck.

“By reason of looking at this grotesque material, you lost your employment, your relationship and effectively your home.”

Ward cried in the dock as the judge suspended an eight-month prison suspended for 18 months on condition he does 30 days’ rehabilitative activities and doesn’t commit more offences.

He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order curbing his use of the internet for five years and put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Mr Galley said police found four images of the most serious category of images of children being sexually abused and three at the middle category as well as extreme pornography.

They also found evidence that he had been in contact with others online about illegal images.

Ward told police he started looking at pornography because he had time on his own at home and it had “spiralled out of control”.

Mrs Turner said Ward had now started a self-employed business.

She handed in references to the court which she said showed a different side to him.