Sat, 25 Jan 2020
A CONVICTED paedophile has created a new identity for himself, moving to a new home in Thatcham and formally changing his name.
A solicitor representing the former pupil of Turnpike School, Newbury, asked Reading magistrates on Thursday to use his new surname during the hearing.
A deed poll name change entitles users to get new documents including a passport, driving licence, national insurance number and credit cards.
But the court clerk insisted that the former Christopher Barlow, who used to live at Brick Walk, Hermitage, must first be formally identified by the name under which he was charged, rather than under his new, chosen name of Matthew Black.
It was therefore as Mr Barlow that the 36-year-old admitted possessing 1,439 images and videos depicting the sexualisation and sexual abuse of children.
Magistrates were informed that Mr Barlow has now legally changed his name to Matthew Black – and his address to Loundyes Close, Thatcham – and he was referred to by the new name for the rest of the proceedings.
Chris White, prosecuting, said: “On April 2, 2019, police executed a warrant at the defendant’s address.
“He directed them to an Apple laptop and iPhone on which were found both still and moving images.”
Mr Black admitted possessing 1,116 Category C images or videos of children; possessing 57 Category B images or videos of children and possessing 266 Category A images or videos of children.
Category A is reserved for the very worst kind of child sex abuse material.
All the offences were committed in Berkshire between April 10, 2017, and July 28, 2018.
Mr White told the court: “This is a matter which needs committing to the crown court.
“The starting point [for sentencing] for Category A images is one year in custody, with a range of 26 weeks to three years.
“The crown submit that the number of Category A images – a quarter of the total – and the total number in the other categories, puts this case beyond your sentencing powers.”
Nicholas Wragg, defending, made no representations except to observe that his client would probably be made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) by the higher court.
Magistrates formally declined further jurisdiction.
They ordered pre-sentence reports to be prepared on Mr Black and released him on unconditional bail until a sentencing hearing can be arranged before a judge sitting at Reading Crown Court.
Mr Black was meanwhile ordered to comply with the Sex Offenders Register notification requirements.
Under these he must tell the authorities if he stays anywhere there are children and must inform officers at Newbury police station of his personal, passport and bank card details.
The ultimate length of time Mr Black must remain on the register will depend on the length of his sentence.