Child porn found on phone from second-hand shop

Marilyn Dalton bought the phone in Edinburgh whilst on holiday. Picture: James Hardisty
Marilyn Dalton bought the phone in Edinburgh whilst on holiday. Picture: James Hardisty
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A MOTHER has spoken of her horror after finding child pornography saved on a mobile phone she had bought from a second-hand equipment shop.

Marilyn Dalton discovered the sickening images after paying £60 for an HTC phone at the CeX store in Rose Street.

The 43-year-old alerted police, and officers launched an investigation to trace the phone’s original owner.

Police confirmed that a 53-year-old man has been charged in connection with the incident.

CeX bosses said they have a policy of wiping data from electrical equipment they buy, and had failed to clear the phone through “human error”. They added that the firm was assisting the police inquiry.

Mrs Dalton, who lives in Leeds, had travelled to the Capital on holiday when she bought the device.

She said: “My phone had been stolen a couple of months before and I had only replaced it with a basic model. I needed a phone with e-mail for my work so I decided to buy one while in Edinburgh. I went to CeX and bought an HTC Desire handset for £60.

“The guy in the shop switched it on for me to check over but he didn’t go into it in depth. I had to register on their system and give my name and address so they obviously go through lots of checks there.”

CeX requires proof of identity and address from sellers as part of a scheme to prevent thieves fencing goods through second-hand goods stores.

Mrs Dalton, an IT manager, said: “I went back to our accommodation and while my partner was putting my four-year-old son, Tomas, to bed I had a look at the phone. I went into the photo gallery, expecting it to be blank, but there was child pornography saved in it.

“It was four posed images of naked children, three girls and a boy aged between four and eight. I was totally shocked and distressed.”

Officers took away the phone and visited the CeX store to check seller records. Mrs Dalton was later left unhappy after CeX refused to refund her £60 from the August 5 purchase unless she travelled to Edinburgh to collect the money.

After being contacted by the Evening News yesterday, CeX agreed to send her a refund. Richard Maloney, commerce, care and logistics manager with CeX, said: “I can confirm we’ve received the complaint and investigated fully.

“It is part of CeX policy to format and wipe any item that can hold data, but unfortunately there are rare 
circumstances where human error plays its part and an item can be missed.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “A 53-year-old man was arrested and charged with an alleged sexual offence on September 17.”