Southampton paedophile Richard Couzens tracked down by international police investigation

Southampton Crown Court

Southampton Crown Court

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Court Reporter

HE posted vile pictures of young girls being abused on the Internet that were beamed around the world.

Richard Couzens thought his sickening behaviour would go undetected after uploading the images to a Russian website via his mobile phone.

Now the 30-year-old from Southampton has been brought to justice - with the help of eagle eyed police using clever technology on the other side of the world.

Southampton Crown Court heard how Australian police officers discovered the sordid images on a Russian website and set about finding out who was responsible for them.

Using the latest techniques to solve cyber crime they began tracking the images - leading them straight to the door of Couzens, from Chettle Road, Southampton.

The information was passed on to detectives from Hampshire police who arrested Couzens and took him in for questioning.

Prosecutor Christopher Wing told the city crown court how he confessed to police that he had taken pictures of a youngster who he also sexually abused. He posted them on the Internet along with others of children aged between three and eleven - blaming his actions on his addiction for images of young girls.

Couzens, 30, admitted 20 charges of taking and making indecent images, distributing them and assault by penetration.

He was jailed for 10 years with a five year extended licence. He was also placed on the sex offenders register and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, both for life.

Jailing him, Judge Derwin Hope told Couzens: “You committed a serious breach of trust.

“You took pictures of this girl and then distributed them over the web for other like minded people.

“This was particularly shocking and illustrates the deep seated nature of your perversion that has manifested for more than five years.”

The judge told Couzens he represented a significant risk to the public, especially to young girls, and extended his licence because he considered him dangerous.

In mitigation, Susan Ridge told the court how Couzens had struggled with his addiction and though he wanted help, he felt unable to do it.

“He is deeply remorseful and greatly distressed at what he has done. He is ashamed of what he has done and knows he will he will go away for a long time and the impact it will have on his family.”

Couzens, who she added was motivated to address his offending in prison, was of previous good character.

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