A MAN caught with a large collection of indecent images made a "frank" confession that he is sexually interested in children, a court heard.

Gerard Howe, of Crogen, Lodgevale Park in Chirk, appeared at Mold Crown Court for sentence on Thursday morning.

The 69-year-old admitted at a previous hearing to six offences of making indecent images of children.

Thomas McLoughlin, prosecuting, told the court that Howe's offending spanned dates from April 2011 up until July 2023 and involved images across all three categories; A, B and C.

Police visited his home in January 2023 after information received from the National Crime Agency.

Officers seized a number of devices including laptops, a phone and hard drives.

All-in-all, some 221 images and six videos at category A (the most serious) were found, as well as 128 images and six videos at category B and 444 images and 27 videos at category C.

Mr McLoughlin said further findings of the police included over 17,000 additional files including indecent images - which had not been categorised and did not form part of the charges.

And an additional 1,526 images were found on the hard drives which were "indicative of a sexual interest in children."

Police concluded that for the purposes of sentencing, Howe's offending constituted a "large collection."


As for his record, Mr McLoughlin confirmed Howe was a man of previous good character with no previous convictions.

Upon hearing Judge Niclas Parry's views on the recommendation set out in the defendant's pre-sentence report, defending counsel Duncan Bould made no submissions to the court.

Judge Parry told the defendant: "Over what can be described as a very long period of time, some 12 years, you were responsible for the making of over 800 images of sexual abuse of children.

"Were there any doubt about your interest and infatuation in sexual abuse of children, that is extinguished.

"What you should realise is that what you were choosing to view was actually happening to these vulnerable children.

"I give you maximum credit for pleading guilty when you did and I accept you are extremely remorseful and ashamed.

"You've lived an industrious life and what's exceptional and rare in cases such as these is your frank admission that you do have a sexual interest in children.

"You've already accepted the advice and assistance the police constructively give people like you after arrest and you've already self-referred for assistance."

The Leader:

Judge Parry imposed a sentence of 12 months custody - but decided that rather than Howe being imprisoned for a matter of months and then released untreated, the public would be better protected by extreme intervention in the defendant's life.

As such, the sentence was suspended for 18 months and Howe must undergo 45 days of rehabilitation activity.

He also received a 12 week curfew and was made subject of a sexual harm prevention order, as well as notification provisions as a sex offender, for ten years.