Community order for Southampton sex offender who refused to reveal computer password

Daily Echo: Community order for sex offender Community order for sex offender

A CONVICTED sex offender refused to disclose a computer password to police after officers became suspicious about content on his machine, a court heard.

Police paid a routine visit to Colin Smith at his home in Lodge Road, Southampton, to check his computer as part of a sexual offences order placed on him.

Southampton Crown Court heard how it became apparent to officers that thumbnail images found on the computer appeared to be indecent images of children, but 90 files had been encrypted with a password.

Smith, 53, who has a number of convictions for sexual offences against boys and girls under 16 between 1979 and 2005, was given until the end of November 2011 to disclose the password. But the court heard how he failed to meet the terms of the order.

The case was listed for trial but Smith, a freelance computer technician, admitted to failing to disclose information to police in October this year.

David Reid, defending Smith, said his client was a man with a “sexual interest in children” but the risk of his behaviour increases when he encounters problems in his life.

Judge Peter Ralls sentenced Smith to a community order for three years, to include a supervision requirement and a sexual offending treatment programme. He also ordered him to pay £840, and for his computer to be seized and destroyed.

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