A 50 year old Stroud musician claimed that ‘friends of friends’ had downloaded child abuse images onto his computer was rejected by a Gloucester crown court jury yesterday, Tuesday, March 26.
Graham Provins, of Bourne Green, Stroud, had pleaded not guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children between 11th October 2015 and 29th September 2017.
A police raid on his address in September 2017 led to ten images of child abuse being found on a Compaq laptop including eight video clips of the most serious category, the court heard.
At the end of a short trial, the jury of six men and six women retired for less than two hours before unanimously declaring Provins guilty of all three charges.
Judge Jason Taylor QC warned Provins that he now faced a jail term, but adjourned the case for preparation of a probation pre-sentence report.
Provins was granted bail until April 18 when he was told he will have to attend Swindon Crown Court to be sentenced.
“You have been convicted by the jury, you must understand these are serious offences,” the judge told Provins
“The children in those images are real children. You are going to need to reflect on this verdict.
“There are no promises.”
Prosecutor Stephen Dent told the jury when he opened the case that Provins’ address was raided by the police on September 29, 2017 at 6.42am.
They seized a Compaq laptop from a box in the office.
Other devices were also seized but it was the Compaq that was found to contain moving images of child abuse including eight films of penetrative sexual activity, the barrister said.
Provins had also entered search terms into Google that were ‘known to be associated with images of child abuse.’
Provins had sought to ‘cover his tracks’ by installing a new version of the Windows 7 operating system ‘on top’ of the existing one.
However police analysis of the device found six images in the ‘recycling bin’ of the old software, which was still held on the system in ‘windows.old’ the prosecutor explained.
The remaining images were recovered from other folders on the old operating system associated with the peer to peer sharing software,
Provins told police he had no knowledge of the images and had no sexual interest in children.
He told the jury he was a self employed non domestic energy assessor and draughtsman and has a degree in Music and Related Arts.
He said he also has a post graduate diploma in radio production.
This led him to work in London ‘mainly writing songs for commercials’, he said, adding he recorded under the name ‘6061’.
“Over last thirty years I have built six recording studios,” he told the jury.
Provins said at his home at the time of the allegation he had such a studio and he allowed others to use it.
He said he tended to use the same password across his electronic devices, or close variations of it.
“I kept a list of passwords on the wall. That was pointed out by one of the officers on arrest.” he said.
“I have allowed others to use [the studio] not necessarily collaborating with me, but for their own use.”
He was asked how many.
“I cannot be sure,” he said. “Friends would bring friends. More than a dozen.”
He added that on the days of the downloads, he was not present as he was at his brother’s birthday celebrations in Upton Upon Severn, where he stayed overnight.
He accepted that he had ‘no proof’ to show that was where he was.
When the jury announced its guilty verdicts, Provins shook, and then hung his head in the dock.
The judge told Provins “The prosecution have put it as someone in drink who has done something they later regret. That is the way I am prepared to sentence.
“I am prepared to adjourn for a pre-sentence report.
“But the reality is that when I get the pre-sentence report, if a denial is maintained that could well tie my hands.
“Whereas if somebody says ‘Okay I did what I did, I cannot explain, but I have been too ashamed to admit it’, that might give probation something to work with.
“I am prepared to adjourn on a no promises basis,” the judge ruled.
Provins will be sentenced at Swindon crown court on 18th April.
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