Paedophile tracked down by Tiverton binmen
Shocked binmen turned detective to track down a paedophile after finding pictures of naked children in a recycling bin.
The council workmen on a round in Tiverton, Devon, alerted police and monitored the green bins outside a block of flats in search of more evidence.
They found two more batches of images and on the last occasion they were mixed with discarded documents which had a name and address on them, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Police raided the home of jobless Colin Eaton, aged 52, where they found hundreds of pictures of naked boys and girls on his computer.
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Eaton, of Rena Hobson Court, Tiverton, admitted 18 offences of making or possession of indecent images of children and was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, and ordered to go on a sex offenders’ programme as part of a two-year supervision order.
Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, also put him on the sex offenders’ register and made a sexual offences prevention order, which bans him from contacting anyone under 16 online. He imposed £300 costs.
The judge told him: “You printed off a number of indecent images of children, you left them in the street in a recycling bin, where they were found by the council binmen on three dates in June and July last year. Your barrister has described your behaviour as foolish but I regard it as very serious. They could have been found by anyone including young children.
“This was distribution without any control. I note that the binmen were very upset by what they found and referred the matter to the police.”
Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said police seized Eaton’s computer after the images were found but he bought a new one and used it to download more images which were found in a second raid. A total of just over 900 images were found, all at the lowest level which shows posing and nudity but no sexual activity.
Mr Nigel Wraith, defending, said, Eaton’s only previous conviction was for benefit fraud and he had suffered mental problems after being divorced in 2001.
He said: “He has struggled to cope but acknowledges he has a problem, so far as these images are concerned, and that he is willing to be helped.”
He said Eaton should be given credit for pleading guilty and said the images were at the lower end of the scale.