Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 14:59 UK

Man sentenced after wife told police of child images

The Crown Court at Mold
A total of 459 images were found on the laptop, the court heard

A woman called police after finding indecent images of children on her husband's laptop, a court has heard.

Stephen Paul Jones, 57, was working abroad at the time and arrested on his return at Heathrow Airport.

The petroleum supervisor from Shotton, Flintshire admitted 16 specimen charges of making indecent images of children, at Mold Crown Court.

He received a nine month prison sentence suspended for two years and was placed on 18 months supervision.

The offences dated between January 2008 and December 2009.

Prosecutor Sandra Subacchi told how the defendant's wife contacted North Wales Police in February 2009 when he was in Dubai.

Officers found a total of 459 images - between the least serious level one to the most serious level five.

Ms Jackson said that there were 346 level one images, four at level two, 21 at level three, 83 at level four and five at level five.

The ages of the children being abused were between five and 12.

'Impeccable record'

Jones was arrested in March of last year at Heathrow as he returned home.

During interview he said that he had viewed them on web sites.

He had not downloaded any himself or forwarded them on to anyone else.

Jones admitted they were stored on his computer but the court heard he could not retrieve them because he had not saved them.

He said he had been looking for "stimulation."

In mitigation Simon Medland said Jones was a man with an impeccable and impressive work record.

The barrister said he was spoken of fondly by his family "despite this terrible hiatus".

The images, he said, had been recovered from "the dusty corners" of the computer and could not be accessed by the defendant because he had not saved them after looking at them.

He said it was fair to say that the vast majority of the images were at the lowest levels of seriousness and there were no features which indicated a higher culpability.

The judge, Mr Recorder Robert Britton, said that the case did pass the custody threshold but in the circumstances, he had decided it could be suspended.

A sexual offences prevention order was also made to curb his future activities.

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