November 2019

Warminster paedophile spared jail after judge orders him to get treatment

A JUDGE told a bearded pervert caught with a sickening paedophile manual he “could not unsee” the description of the horrific abuse in the four-minute-long video.

But Judge Jason Taylor QC spared Simon Masters an immediate spell in custody and instead handed him a two-year jail sentence suspended for two years with a requirement to complete a course designed to stop paedophiles from offending.

The 33-year-old former bus driver was told he would be behind bars if he re-offended.

“I am not going to send you to prison today, but you need to know this has been an extremely close run thing,” Judge Taylor said.

“I will not forget you. Sadly, I am not going to be able to unsee what I have read of that paedophile manual.

“This has been an act of mercy and it will be the last.”

Masters, of The Teasels, Warminster, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, possession of extreme pornographic images and possession of a paedophile manual.

Prosecuting, Hannah Squire told Swindon Crown Court that Masters’ IP address came to the attention of police monitoring online file sharing websites commonly used by paedophiles.

In April last year they raided his home, seizing computers and other electronic devices. Masters said to officers: “Whatever you find it’s down to me and I’ve downloaded it.”

On Masters’ computer and hard-drives they found more than 400 indecent images of children – including 157 in the most serious category – 242 extreme pornographic images and a four-minute video entitled “Pre-teen toy story”.

Ms Squire said of the notorious paedophile manual: “It is in essence a step-by-step guide to the abuse of small children ranging from babies upwards.”

The total length of the videos found on Masters’ devices ran to more than 100 hours. There was evidence of Masters trawling the web for search terms commonly used by paedophiles.

Judge Taylor said it was worrying that a probation officer thought Masters presented a high risk to children.

He said: “The benefits to society, especially children, and you in fact coincide in this case and that is treatment.”

Under his suspended sentence order, Masters must complete 250 hours of unpaid work and must register as a sex offender for 10 years.