Hard drive was missed by police

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A pervert continued to view indecent images of children on a hard drive missed by police during a search of his home.

Preston Crown Court heard the storage unit was seized following a visit from an officer from the Dangerous and Sexual Offenders Unit.

Michael Eastwood was already on three years court supervision for possessing and making indecent images of children when the hard drive was discovered.

The court heard the equipment had been overlooked by officers who removed computers from his home in Harrow Avenue, Fleetwood, for the original offence in 2012.

The device contained indecent images of children, plus extreme pornographic material.

Eastwood had managed to keep his earlier offending secret from his family and asked the police officer to pretend he was from the fraud squad.

Eastwood, 58, admitted 10 offences of possessing extreme pornography and indecent images, plus another two of failing to comply with requirements following his previous conviction.

David Clarke, prosecuting, said Eastwood appeared agitated when the officer turned up at his home in October

He said: “The defendant’s wife was told to go upstairs and leave the officer to speak to the defendant.

“They spoke for a few minutes. While that was taking place it was noted there was a computer cabinet in the dining room.

“The defendant then surreptitiously disconnected an external hard drive from the back of the computer. He was challenged about what he had done and claimed at first he was just removing a book.”

The prosecution said the hard drive must have been missed during the previous visit which resulted in his earlier conviction.

Ciaran Rankin, defending, said the home was something of an “Aladdins Cave” with many technical devices.

Judge Michael Byrne was due to hand down his sentence today.