Internet cafe arrest ends in jail

PUBLISHED: 16:59 26 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:39 24 May 2010

A FORMER army officer who was caught downloading child pornography from the internet just a year after serving a prison sentence for the same offence and sexually assaulting a child, could spend the rest of his life in jail

A FORMER army officer who was caught downloading child pornography from the internet just a year after serving a prison sentence for the same offence and sexually assaulting a child, could spend the rest of his life in jail.Paul Howe was spotted looking at lewd images of teenage girls by a customer in The Java Lounge internet cafe in Orchard Street, Weston. When a member of staff was told, the police were called and Howe was arrested.He had saved 382 images stored on computer memory sticks. The 42-year-old paedophile, who is of no fixed abode, but formerly from Portishead, admitted 30 charges of making indecent photographs of a child. He was given an indeterminate prison sentence for public protection, a new scheme introduced last year which means prisoners could stay in jail until they die unless they reform.He was told he would serve at least two-and-a-half years behind bars before the parole board will even consider him for release.He was also subjected to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for the protection of children. Richard Shepherd, prosecuting at Bristol Crown Court, told how Howe was seen on January 15 last year looking at child pornography. When an IT expert remotely viewed the page Howe was staring at, it was confirmed he had been looking at a naked image of a teenage girl in a provocative stance. The defendant was still looking at the computer when the police arrived to arrest him. Mr Shepherd said officers found a memory stick by the terminal containing indecent images. Another was found when Howe was searched in the custody suite at Weston police station. The court heard how Howe had been jailed for four years in 2002 for indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl and for looking at child pornography. He was released on licence in November 2004 and was still on licence when he committed his latest offences. Mark Worsley, defending, said his client recognised he had a very serious problem. He said the father-of-one, who had served in the forces for 16 years, had lost everything. "Mr Howe stands before you today very much a broken man. He regards himself as having destroyed everything in his life. He has lost his family and his career. "He was a serving member of the forces until the date of his conviction when he was administratively discharged.

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