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Thursday, 29 June, 2000, 19:33 GMT 20:33 UK
Housewife's garden shed porn
Scales of justice
Thomas denied conspiracy to publish obscene articles
A housewife is facing a jail sentence after being found guilty of running the Welsh end of an international porn operation from her garden shed.

Sharon Thomas from St Clear's in Carmarthenshire, was told by a judge at Swansea Crown Court to her to put her affairs in order as he intended to send her to prison.

Sharon Thomas
Sharon Thomas is expected to be jailed

Thomas, 41, helped run an international pornography catalogue service from her garden shed in Maes y Bryn, the jury had been told.

From there she sent hundreds of sex catalogues across Britain.

The court heard that an Amsterdam-based pornography supplier called Your Choice used Thomas's address to conceal the source of the material which was being sent, said Mr Trefor Davies, prosecuting.

Catalogues highlighting illegal porn CDs and videos were distributed to tens of thousands of customers over a five-year period, he said.

Thomas told the court she believed that catalogues containing material entitled Sex Encounters of the Lurid Kind were legal in Britain.

I have questioned time and time again about words like hard core and the company always assured me that everything was above board

Defendent Sharon Thomas

She also said she did not find images depicting women carrying out sex acts on men obscene.

Prosecutor Trefor Davies told Thomas that she had put personal gain before her conscience and was well aware of what she was doing.

But Thomas said the catalogues she sent out were no more obscene than a lot of top-shelf material.

"I do not think that an ordinary person would regard that as obscene," she told the court.

Thomas - who denied one charge of conspiring to publish obscene articles - said she agreed to help businessman David Waterfield run the British end of the operation in 1994.

The court heard that Mr Waterfield, also of St Clear's, had set up Your Choice in Holland with his wife.

Thomas said that over the five years she worked in the operation she had earned no more than a total of 15,000.

But she admitted that most of the money was paid in cash and had never been declared.

Thomas also dismissed suggestions she had always been aware that catalogues containing words such as hard core might be illegal.

"I have questioned time and time again about words like hard core and the company always assured me that everything was above board."

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