Man living in squalor found with indecent images given "another chance" by judge

First published in News

A BARRY man described as a "lonely" and "sad character" has avoided a prison sentence after being found with indecent images of children.

Judge DJ Hale told Gareth Hardwick that was willing to give him "another chance".

Police entered the "dirty" and "unkept" house of 56-year-old Gareth Hardwick in April after becoming alerted that he had paid for indecent images of children online.

At his home on Spring Street, Barry, Hardwick immediately owned up to officers, who seized his computer.

He found to have one photograph - categorised as "class-A", the worst category - and 38 movie clips, 25 of which were "class A".

The images featured girls aged between 10 to 14 , something he admitted having a sexual interest in.

He had collected the images during a six month period from October 2013 until his arrest. He has no previous convictions.

At Cardiff Crown Court on Friday, July 19 Judge DJ Hale described Hardwick as "a sad character, living in complete squalor.

He told him: "You must understand that these are not victimless crimes.

"Somewhere some child, somewhere probably in the Ukraine or Russia or somewhere out there, has been subjected to a horrendous ordeal to provide people like you with titillation.

"You have manifold other problems and you're a very lonely man.

"I'm prepared to give you another chance and give you a community order."

Hardwick was made the subject of a three year community order with supervision.

His computer use will be monitored during this time, and he is banned from deleting his internet history or making any attempt to mask his internet use.

Judhe Hale made it clear that should he offend again he will be given a prison sentence.

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