Shannon Matthews' stepfather denies possessing child pornography

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Police searching for Shannon Matthews found more than 100 indecent images of children on a computer belonging to her mother's then partner, a court heard.

Detectives seized Craig Meehan's computer from the home he shared with Karen Matthews in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, the day after Shannon went missing in February, a district judge was told.

The nine-year-old was found 24 days after she vanished. Yesterday, David Holderness outlined the case for the prosecution against Mr Meehan at Dewsbury magistrates' court.

Mr Holderness said Mr Meehan faced charges which referred to 134 indecent images of children. He said 133 of those were found on a second-hand computer Mr Meehan bought in 2006. The other was found on Mr Meehan's mobile phone, the prosecutor said.

He said 16 of the images have been classified as level four in a scale that runs from one to five and in which five is the most serious. The majority of the images were classified as level one with others at level two and three. Mr Holderness said Mr Meehan had pointed the finger at other people who had used his computer. The prosecutor said: "There are substantial amounts of material which, when put together, provide a convincing and overwhelming picture that it was Mr Meehan who was the person who downloaded the relevant materials."

Mr Holderness said part of the prosecution case would be matching the times at which the images were downloaded with Mr Meehan's work record.

Mr Meehan, 22, denied 11 charges of possessing indecent images of children.

At the beginning of the trial yesterday, he was asked again if he continued to deny the allegations.

The trial, which continues today, is expected to last for about five days.