The Defendant was charged with making 57 indecent images of children contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Children Act 1978 that had been identified on his 2 computers by Police that the Prosecution alleged had been deliberately and intentionally stored by him. Internet history activity and Google searches were also identified that were of potential relevance to the presence of the indecent images of children.
The Defendant denied the allegations and claimed that he was not aware of the presence of the indecent images of children and had not deliberately stored them.
Athena Forensics were instructed to carry out a computer forensic examination of the computer evidence to determine whether the Prosecution observations and findings were correct and accurate and whether there was evidence to suggest that the Defendant had not deliberately stored the images.
A review of the computer evidence revealed that the indecent images of children were each within the deleted areas of the computers and that the creation or deletion of them cannot be determined making it impossible to identify whether they had been retained for a period of time or deleted immediately upon identified and that they were not accessible to a normal user.
Our computer forensic expert also found that there was no evidence to suggest that the user had conducted any searches that were likely to have resulted in the creation of indecent images of children.
Our computer forensic expert concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to indicate whether or not the indecent images of children had been created by the deliberate actions of the Defendant or stored inadvertently.
A joint forensic expert document was ordered by the court and the Prosecution expert witness agreed with the findings of the report by Athena Forensics which led to the Prosecution offering no evidence in the case and the proceedings against the Defendant were then dropped.