A NEWTOWN man whose films of him spanking a young boy were among hundreds of indecent images of children found on his computer equipment has been sent to prison for three-and-a-half years.

David Owens also frustrated investigating police officers by refusing to disclose a password needed to access encrypted material in a specially marked file and Judge Rhys Rowlands told him: “Who knows what could have been found.”

The judge added: “You filmed yourself spanking his (the victim's) bare bottom for your own sexual gratification and you stored images of young children of the most serious type and then failed to divulge a password after an order was served on you.”

Owens, 60, of Plantation Close, Maesyrhandir, Newtown, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a child under 13 as well as four counts of making indecent images of children and one count of possession of indecent images. He also admitted failing to disclose information contrary to a Section 49 notice.

His perverted behaviour came to light when police went to his home to execute a warrant on November 29 last year after his IP address was linked to indecent images. Among the collection of child pornography found on his computer equipment were two videos of him spanking the child.

Prosecuting barrister David Edwards said that analysis of two hard drives showed Owens had stored 346 category A images of child abuse, the highest level; 118 of category B and 34 of category C.

He offered no comment replies when police asked him about encrypted files and refused to reveal a password.

Mr Edwards said: “They (the images) had been organised into files and there were search terms seeking such videos.”

The court heard Owens wanted help to cure his addiction to pornography.

Defence barrister John Hedgecoe said: “He is keen to get help for a problem that he recognises as an addiction. He has been downloading porn for 15 years and that didn’t start off as child pornography. He describes it as having taken over his life and he is keen to undergo some form of course to try and assist him.

“He is devastated by what this has done to his family. His wife and daughter are still speaking to him, other members of the family are not.”

Owens was told he would have to sign the sex offenders register for life and a sexual harm prevention order was put in place.