Thieves found chilling child abuse images on laptop

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Thieves found chilling child abuse images on laptop

Post by Mr Moon on Sun 16 Aug 2009, 8:43 pm

Thieves found chilling child abuse images on laptop

A SEX offender’s collection of disturbing child abuse images was uncovered - by burglars.

Richard Coverdale not only downloaded pictures of child abuse, but invented a 14-year-old character to expose himself to a shocked teenage girl over the internet.

Coverdale, 24, of Canterbury Road, Redcar, was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Burglars sparked the investigation which brought him to justice after they stole a laptop from his house on August 19 last year.

They uncovered a more disturbing crime than their own when they found child pornography on the computer, and contacted the police.

Officers discovered 78 illegal images - 13 stills and 65 “movies” - of varying seriousness in law. It was also revealed that Coverdale, already a convicted arsonist, had been chatting online with a 14-year-old girl. He invented a fictitious character, a 14-year-old brother “Danny”, prosecutor Harry Hadfield told Durham Crown Court yesterday.

Days before the burglary he invited the female student to watch “Danny” on a webcam, then filmed himself performing a sex act. The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was shocked and immediately severed contact. She later said she felt degraded, humiliated and had since harmed herself.

Coverdale admitted engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, eight charges of making indecent photographs of children and one of possessing such photos.

He confessed to police that he downloaded pictures of children and spoke to girls in chat rooms.

Tom Mitchell, defending, said the crime against the girl was “remote” through an electronic medium, she was not deprived of control and was able to switch it off.

Judge Brian Forster QC sentenced Coverdale to a total of three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment, saying he had conducted a calculated scam against the girl. He said children should be safe using the internet for education and entertainment, and people had to be deterred from similar offending.

Coverdale was banned from working with children for life and will be given a sexual offences prevention order next week.

In 2003 he was sent to a young offenders’ institution for four years with five years on extended licence for a series of arson offences.

He set fire to five Redcar properties, some occupied, in one night.

Other previous offences include drunkenly scrawling a cheque to himself for £500,000 in an act of “criminal stupidity”. He stole 17 cheques, cashing one for £875 at Cash Converters, and writing another, for the half-million sum, and submitting it at an ATM.


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Re: Thieves found chilling child abuse images on laptop

Post by Ninotchka on Mon 17 Aug 2009, 8:17 am

Heh, I can only imagine how the burglars' conversation with police went.
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