Sex pervert escapes jail
A 25-YEAR-OLD man who kept reminders on his mobile phone to get pictures of underage children has escaped a prison sentence
A 25-YEAR-OLD man who kept reminders on his mobile phone to get pictures of underage children has escaped a prison sentence. Simon Smith kept a tasks folder in his phone to 'get pantie pics of under-age girls' and 'steal a pair of next door's knickers' on his Samsung mobile and kept a picture of a girl, aged eight or nine, laid on a bed with her genitalia showing. He also had a reminder to get pictures of various actresses, one of whom is aged just eight and specifically mentioned wanting nude or schoolgirl pictures.Michael Hartnell, prosecuting, said: "Smith kept notes in his phone, including one which said 'get an under-age schoolgirl to strip for my cam' and another which read 'grab an underage girl for f****** aged eightish in a school uniform'."Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing indecent photographs/pseudo photographs of a child and seven counts of distributing photographs/pseudo photographs of a child between December 2005 and July 2006 when he appeared at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges.He had been working at a DIY store in Clevedon when staff noticed him following small children around the shop. When colleagues found his mobile phone they found a video on it entitled 'Eldest cutie next door' and another titled 'Fit schoolies'. The store manager said he felt physically sick when he saw them.Police arrested Smith and interviewed him. He claimed he had been testing out the camera on the phone and had meant nothing by it. He admitted he never asked the subjects for their consent. The police seized four mobile phones which were sent for examination, and over 30 short video clips of young girls were found. There were also images of young girls in fast food restaurants and videos of Smith's next door neighbour's young children, which were taken from an upstairs window.Mr Hartnell said: "The police found reminders on the phone. One read 'my birthday, get a young schoolgirl to f***'. Another read 'get a young under-age schoolgirl to pose for my camera, under 10 but at least four'. The picture of the girl on the bed was sent out to other mobiles six times. The same image was found on one of Smith's other phones as well. Police found adult pornographic images and numerous text messages, several suggesting abuse of young children on a Motorola mobile owned by Smith. Smith claimed he was sending the texts to trap peadophiles and was going to show them to the police. Simon Hutchence, defending, said: "Smith is in his own fantasy world, and therefore does not pose a serious threat. "These offences carry with them a stigma. The public has a distaste and unease about these sorts of cases. Mr Smith's father stands at the back of the court to support him and Mr Smith himself is in a state of shock. "It is an understatement to say this is embarrassing. He was caught red-handed in many respects."Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, images were placed in categories one to five, with five being the most serious. The images on Smith's phone were classed as category one. Mr Hutchence said: "I know there are universal distastes when cases like this are reported. You are dealing with someone who is no longer in denial. He acknowledges he has a problem and it is a problem he wants to deal with."Mr Hutchence also told the court how Smith was a Christian and regularly attended church. The church he attends has allocated its own child protection officer and provided a mentor for Smith, who he has a meeting with on Wednesday. Smith, whose address cannot be revealed for legal reasons, was ordered to complete a supervised three-year community order, a 60 day sexual offences programme, ordered to pay £60 costs and has had his name added to the sexual offenders register.