Paedophile's bedroom was 'hidden' behind bookcase
A man was downloading vile child sex abuse images from his 'hidden' bedroom.
Liam Wishart, 35, told police officers who arrested him after a raid on the Bloxham home he shared with his mum that he had no indecent images of children and that he was sexually attracted to those of his own age.
But his lies were exposed when forensics specialists analysed his digital devices, uncovering 266 images in the most serious category – A – 115 in category B and 127 in category C.
Among the material found were images showing very young girls being sexually abused, Oxford Crown Court heard.
There was also evidence he had searched the internet for indecent images of children and chatted with others with a similar interest between 2016 and 2021.
Police officers raided the property in June 2021, after receiving a tip-off that Wishart had been downloading the vile child sex abuse material.
His bedroom – the door to which was hidden behind a bookcase – was searched and his digital devices seized.
The officers also found a can of pepper spray. The spray is classed as a prohibited weapon under firearm laws.
A cache of £28 notes was found and he was initially charged with possession of counterfeit money.
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However, the charge was eventually dropped. On Friday (March 31) judge Recorder Paul Reid told prosecutor Robert Lindsey that he was ‘puzzled’ as to why the charges were brought in the first place, characterising the fake notes as ‘Monopoly money’.
When he was interviewed by the police, Wishart submitted a prepared statement denying that he was in possession of indecent images of children or that he had used ‘peer to peer’ websites to obtain them.
He claimed that friends would use his laptop and that the WiFi at his house was not password-protected.
Wishart, of Courtington Lane, Bloxham, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of indecent images of children and possession of the prohibited weapon. He had no previous convictions.
Gordana Austin, mitigating, said the Bloxham man was his mother’s carer and worked from home as a graphic designer. He had spent six weeks in prison on remand.
Imposing nine months’ imprisonment suspended for a year-and-a-half, Recorder Reid told Wishart: “The pre-sentence report reveals that you have an understanding now of the particularly vile nature of this practice, because as I have said it is not just being in possession of these disgusting photographs
“They are not just disgusting photographs. They show the commission of disgusting offences against children.
“Each of these hundreds of photographs is a further abuse.”
Wishart was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work, up to 60 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay £425 in costs.
He was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offender register for 10 years.