Sex tourist jailed four years

A CHILD sex tourist who took indecent photographs of foreign children in a hotel room has been jailed for almost four years in a landmark prosecution.Police discovered a total of 3,865 indecent images of children when they seized Peter Swale's computer and camera equipment following a tip-off from the former manager of an internet café in Ipswich.

A CHILD sex tourist who took indecent photographs of foreign children in a hotel room has been jailed for almost four years in a landmark prosecution.

Police discovered a total of 3,865 indecent images of children when they seized Peter Swale's computer and camera equipment following a tip-off from the former manager of an internet café in Ipswich.

Most of the images had been downloaded from the internet, but detectives also discovered Swale had taken many indecent photographs of children in Cambodia and the Philippines.

The 49-year-old lorry driver admitted 15 charges relating to the possession of indecent images of children, taking indecent images of children while in Cambodia in December 2001 and one count of taking indecent images of children while in the Philippines between August 2003 and April 2004.

Swale, who rented accommodation in Saxmundham last year but had been living in West Street, Huntingdon, before his arrest, also pleaded guilty to inciting a child in the Philippines to commit gross indecency.

Sitting at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, Judge John Holt jailed Swale for three years and nine months, and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register.

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The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the computer and camera equipment and banned Swale from working with children for life.

The case is believed to be the first time that offences committed in the Philippines and Cambodia have been tried and convicted in the UK.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said Swale had arrived in the UK in April 2004 with a visa permitting him to work for four years.

He initially came to police attention after using the internet café Langames in Tacket Street, Ipswich, where the manager saw Swale apparently saving images to a disk. It became apparent Swale had viewed 35 indecent images of children at level one - the lowest level of seriousness.

Detectives later seized Swale's own computer equipment, where hundreds more indecent images were stored.

Among all the images found, 3,836 were at level one, eight at level two, 12 at level three, and nine at level four.

A total of 212 photographs had been actually taken by Swale in Cambodia during five days in December 2001, involving children as young as eight.

Further inquiries showed he had taken 372 photographs of children in a hotel room in the Philippines, all at level one.

A total of 18 images were of the same male victim, who is about 11 years old. One of these showed the defendant committing an act of indecency with the victim.

Inquiries are continuing to try and identify the victims involved.

Mr Sadd said: "He has been travelling to and from these countries abusing children. He has been caught by the fact that he has taken photographs of these children."

Mr Sadd said Swale had significant links to the Philippines as he had married an 18-year-old citizen there in 2002.

His passport showed he had made 11 visits to the country between March 1999 and April 2004. He also used the same hotel and same room on each visit.

Miles Bennett, for Swale, said his client had no previous convictions and had travelled to the UK in order to find work.

He said many of the images were not separately downloaded but were duplicates of the same photographs.

Speaking after the case, Mr Sadd said: "This case is believed to be the first time that offences committed in the Philippines and Cambodia have been tried and convicted in the UK.

"The exploitation and abuse of children is a horrendous act and this case demonstrates our commitment to making sure that anybody who commits crime whereever this may be will face the full force of the law."

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