Pub landlord jailed 109,032 images of child porn

THE former owner of one West Somerset’s most historic inns had so many pornographic pictures and films on his computers that police had to stop counting, a court has heard.

At least 109,032 images of children and 1,077 indecent movies were discovered when officers went to the 12th Century Royal Oak at Winsford with a warrant, Taunton Crown Court was told on Thursday.

When the count got to that figure it was stopped, said Alan Large, prosecuting.

Former computer programmer and IT manager Michael Ashman, 40, whose address was later given by the court as Lilstock, near Williton, and who is married with a daughter, admitted 15 charges of making an indecent photograph of a child and was jailed for 15 months.

He told officers he downloaded images sporadically although it tended to relate to when he was stressed. They were created over nine years and some images were of boys.

When told the number they had found, he said he had no idea there were so many.

Patrick Mason, defending, said Ashman’s life had been completely shattered – not only by the charges but by a series of financial disasters which had left him and his parents desperately trying to keep solvent.

He had suffered five redundancies in the IT industry and got less than expected from the Royal Oak. He also broke up with his family.

“Against that background, he fell back on a strange desire to look at these pictures,” said Mr Mason.

Passing sentence, Judge Stephen O’Malley said: “The message must go out to others that if child pornography is taken off the internet in any significant quantity, the courts will send the offenders to prison.”

Ashman’s guilty plea and other mitigating factors were also taking into consideration.

The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the computer equipment in the case. Ashman was also told to sign the Sex Offenders Register for ten years and was disqualified indefinitely from working with children.

Published in: on December 24, 2007 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

German child porn ring implicates 12,000

BERLIN, Dec. 24 (UPI) — As many as 12,000 people worldwide have been identified as suspects by German police who cracked an Internet child pornography network.

The investigation codenamed “Heaven” went on for months before police in Berlin made the announcement Monday, Deutsche Welle reported.

Police said 1,700 people in Germany have been charged with possessing illegal material.

Using Internet Protocol addresses unique to each computer, thousands of other suspects were identified by investigators in 70 other countries, the report said.

The probe was sparked by a an unidentified German Internet service provider who called police when he noticed an unusual spike in data traffic and identified the target site, the report said.

Published in: on December 24, 2007 at 12:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

William R. Watkins – Child porn and child molestation


William R. Watkins, 53, of Independence has been charged with first-degree child molestation, possession of child pornography and five counts of first degree statutory sodomy.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar announced the charges Friday.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred in Independence and involved girls who were 8 or 9 years old at the time.

One incident dated from 2005 and the other from this year.

A police search of Watkins’ home also turned up evidence of child pornography on his computer.

An investigation is continuing and Independence police are asking for the public’s help in identifying other possible victims.

Watkins’ bond has been set at $250,000 cash only.

Published in: on December 24, 2007 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

William R. Watkins – Child porn and child molestation


William R. Watkins, 53, of Independence has been charged with first-degree child molestation, possession of child pornography and five counts of first degree statutory sodomy.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar announced the charges Friday.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred in Independence and involved girls who were 8 or 9 years old at the time.

One incident dated from 2005 and the other from this year.

A police search of Watkins’ home also turned up evidence of child pornography on his computer.

An investigation is continuing and Independence police are asking for the public’s help in identifying other possible victims.

Watkins’ bond has been set at $250,000 cash only.

Published in: on December 24, 2007 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Joshua Bryan Cooley – High-risk sex offender


Police are saying they have apprehended a high-risk sex offender who allegedly was partying with minors.

Joshua Bryan Cooley, 27, was busted near his house in the 3300 block of G Street Sunday at about 1:30 a.m.

In response to a complaint about loud noise at Cooley’s house, Eureka police officers arrived at the residence and broke up what they said was a large party.

“Upon further investigation, it was learned that the occupant of the house was a parolee and high-risk sex offender,” an EPD news release said. “Many of the partygoers at the house were 12- to 17-year-old teens with different levels of intoxication.”

Cooley and some teens fled as officers arrived. Soon after, the EPD called in the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for its assistance in searching for Cooley. Not only that, but Cooley’s parole agent was also called in to help find the sex offender.

“The availability and willingness of the parole officer to assist our department with the search for the sex offender led to his apprehension,” said EPD Officer Louis Altic.

In fact, Cooley was wearing an ankle bracelet that allowed his parole officer to track his location. Cooley was found hiding in the backyard of a residence in the 3300 block of G Street.

He was arrested on a parole hold and on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of minors. He was booked into the Humboldt County jail in Eureka.

“It is important for parents to know where their children are — especially at night,” said EPD Public Information Officer Suzie Owsley. “The teens did not know the man they were partying with was a registered sex offender. Several of the teens drinking at the party were 12 and 13 years old and had no parental supervision.”

Published in: on December 24, 2007 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Joshua Bryan Cooley – High-risk sex offender


Police are saying they have apprehended a high-risk sex offender who allegedly was partying with minors.

Joshua Bryan Cooley, 27, was busted near his house in the 3300 block of G Street Sunday at about 1:30 a.m.

In response to a complaint about loud noise at Cooley’s house, Eureka police officers arrived at the residence and broke up what they said was a large party.

“Upon further investigation, it was learned that the occupant of the house was a parolee and high-risk sex offender,” an EPD news release said. “Many of the partygoers at the house were 12- to 17-year-old teens with different levels of intoxication.”

Cooley and some teens fled as officers arrived. Soon after, the EPD called in the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for its assistance in searching for Cooley. Not only that, but Cooley’s parole agent was also called in to help find the sex offender.

“The availability and willingness of the parole officer to assist our department with the search for the sex offender led to his apprehension,” said EPD Officer Louis Altic.

In fact, Cooley was wearing an ankle bracelet that allowed his parole officer to track his location. Cooley was found hiding in the backyard of a residence in the 3300 block of G Street.

He was arrested on a parole hold and on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of minors. He was booked into the Humboldt County jail in Eureka.

“It is important for parents to know where their children are — especially at night,” said EPD Public Information Officer Suzie Owsley. “The teens did not know the man they were partying with was a registered sex offender. Several of the teens drinking at the party were 12 and 13 years old and had no parental supervision.”

Published in: on December 24, 2007 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment