News Column

100,000 child abuse pictures 'were not mine' ; COURT

June 25, 2014

Geoff Bennett Crown; Geoff Bennett Crown court reporter geoff.bennett@b-nm.co.uk

POLICE found more than 100,000 "degrading" child abuse images on computer equipment belonging to a suspected paedophile. Bristol Crown Court heard that officers started to investigate 500,000 photos and videos in Stephen Buchan's possession - but stopped checking after uncovering 108,038 photos and 821 movies depicting child sexual abuse.

Buchan, of St John's Court, Keynsham, told police the files were nothing to do with him. Instead he said other men had downloaded them - but refused to name those involved.

The 67-year-old denies seven charges of making indecent photographs of a child between 2003 and 2011.

The court heard yesterday that his brother, Trevor Buchan, was jailed in 2010 for offences related to indecent images of children and was released from prison in May last year.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, said in August 2011 police searched Buchan's then home in Bath and took possession of a computer, two external hard drives, a memory stick and 85 disks.

Mr Posner told a jury: "They contained indecent images of children, both photographs and movies, depicting various levels of degrading child abuse.

"You will not view the images. They are indecent images of children. "The prosecution's case is that he had been searching for and amassing, over eight years, a huge collection of tens of thousands of such images.

"He downloads them, which is making them, and he did so because they gratified him sexually.

"There is no other explanation." Mr Posner said the images were stored on a number of devices at the house where Buchan lived with his mother. He said: "Mr Buchan denies having anything to do with them.

"He says he didn't know they were present, other than images that popped up voluntarily when he was on the internet.

"He says it may well have been four men who were visiting his home regularly, who he didn't name for fear of violence and threats made against him. He says it may well be them responsible." DC Geoff Colvin, of the Bristolbased Internet Child Abuse Team, confirmed how special software was used to quickly identify indecent material held on computer.

PC Jon Niccolls, who at the time served with the Avon and Somerset High Tech Crime Unit, confirmed that of a number of user profile names were recorded on the equipment - but the user name "Steve" was the only name linked to indecent images.

He also confirmed a user had put in special search terms aimed at downloading child abuse material. Under cross-examination, PC Niccolls said he was unable to identify who set up the computer, or who downloaded the material.

Richard Bird, Buchan's former neighbour, told the jury the only people he saw visiting Buchan were a debt collector and a woman with a child, buying tobacco.

The case continues.

"He says it may well have been four men who were visiting his home regularly, who he didn't name for fear of violence and threats made against him. He says it may well be them responsible.

Richard Posner, prosecuting


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Source: Bristol Evening Post (England)


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