Page last updated at 20:25 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 21:25 UK

Somerset businessman denies child pornography charges

A businessman from Somerset stored about 1,000 indecent images of children on his computer, a court has heard.

Martyn Helliwell, 49, denies 12 counts of making indecent images, four of distributing them and one of perverting the course of justice.

The jury at Bristol Crown Court heard he misled high profile business contacts into giving him false alibis.

Mr Helliwell, from Over Stratton, was a business partner of former England rugby union winger Rory Underwood.

Adam Vaitilingham, for the prosecution, told the court that about 1,000 indecent images of children were found on Mr Helliwell's computer when his home was searched in November 2007.

'Other opportunists'

He said Mr Helliwell did not deny the presence of the images, but claimed "other opportunists" must have put them there.

Mr Helliwell denies perverting the course of justice by asking clients and acquaintances for alibis the prosecution says do not match up.

Mr Helliwell is also the face of motivational company UPH along with Mr Underwood, who is a prosecution witness in the case against him.

Philip Rogers, Lieutenant Commander of HMS Ark Royal, and Diane Youngs-Allott, who has a senior role at Royal Caribbean Cruises, are also testifying against the defendant.

Mr Vaitilingham explained the 16 alibis Mr Helliwell had obtained to the jury: "These were busy people, and simply signed and sent them back.

"They had no reason to suspect he had put in the wrong dates."

He said on some occasions Mr Helliwell, who went by the nickname of Shrek, said he was sitting as a magistrate in Taunton.

On others, he said he was sailing, or out of the country.

The trial continues.

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