A 72-YEAR-OLD man has admitted possessing dozens of indecent films of children.
Alan Chapman hid DVDs containing 51 movies in a ceiling cavity at a home he rented in Haslemere Road, Southsea – but forgot to take them with him when he left.
The films were discovered by the owner of the home when he started to do repair work.
Now Chapman, of Malins Road, Buckland, Portsmouth, has admitted five counts of possessing indecent moving images of a child between January 1 and December 31, 2011.
Martyn Booth, prosecuting at Portsmouth Crown Court, said of the man who found the films: ‘The man doing the work was obviously curious about the contents of the discs and that night when he went home he examined them and he was somewhat shocked to say the least at the contents of them.
‘He telephoned a friend of his who is a lawyer and the lawyer recommended that he contact the child abuse team at Netley, and that’s precisely what he did, and a police investigation was launched.’
The DVDs were examined and found to contain two movies at level one – the lowest rating.
Thirty-four were at level two, 14 at level four, and one at the most obscene rating of level five.
Chapman was arrested and questioned.
Mr Booth added: ‘He (Chapman) said that he was interested in 12 to 13-year-olds. He had images of girls of 12 years old and upwards.’
Roderick James, defending Chapman, said the DVDs had been made between 2002 and 2007.
Mr James said: ‘They (the DVDs) had apparently been forgotten about.
‘He had put them up in the ceiling and effectively moved in, and effectively forgotten about (them) when he moved out.’
He added: ‘He had voluntarily ceased this offending some seven years ago.
‘He has lost, as a result of this detection, quite a substantial amount.’
Chapman was given a three-year community order, put under supervision for three years and told to take part in a treatment programme for sex offenders.
He was ordered to pay £350 in court costs and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register. Addressing Chapman, who has no previous convictions, Judge Roger Hetherington, sentencing, said: ‘You allowed yourself to get into watching child pornographic material and you downloaded from the internet these various images and the rather aggravating feature of that, bad enough though it was already, was that you then deliberately stored those discs in the property by concealing them in the ceiling of the basement, essentially with the intention of looking at them again at some future point.
‘That all happened some years ago and it does appear that you may have forgotten about them because you left that property in 2011.’
An order was made for the 51 indecent movies to be forfeited and destroyed.