Ex-cop 'ignored law to view child porn'

By NICOLA BOYES

A former Huntly senior sergeant, now a lawyer, knew looking at child pornography was illegal but he did it anyway, a court has heard.

Police say more than 300 images of child pornography were found on 57-year-old Mike Meyrick's computer hard drive and floppy disks after his wife and daughter reported him to police.

He has pleaded not guilty to 30 charges of possessing objectionable material relating to 380 images allegedly downloaded between 1996 and 2002.

Crown prosecutor Philip Crayton said yesterday that Meyrick had written an email to his wife after she went to police. He said he knew child pornography was illegal but accessed it anyway.

Mr Crayton said that in the email Meyrick described surfing the internet and news groups in the search for child pornography, which "in the family context" he knew was a problem.

Meyrick also said to his now-estranged wife, Marion Ashby, that he would make a donation to charity if she called off the police, said Mr Crayton.

Giving evidence, Ms Ashby said she first learned about the child pornography in the mid-1990s when the couple's daughter, Amy, said she had found it on Meyrick's computer.

Judge Geoff Ellis heard that the issue arose again last May when Amy went to her mother again, allegedly showing her images on Meyrick's computer.
Ms Ashby left Meyrick and the family home in Huntly as a result.

She said she called Meyrick the night she left him, telling him what they had found.

"I said, 'If I was the mother of any of those children I'd ******** kill you. You're sick'."

Ms Ashby returned in the following days to take Meyrick's computer and give it to her daughter, who removed the hard drive and gave it back to her mother.

Later that month at a family gathering, Ms Ashby gave Meyrick a letter saying she would keep the computer hard drive safe until he received help for his problem.

"He said, 'I object to you making this a public problem'," Ms Ashby said.

"He said '[If] you take your information to the authorities, I'm versatile. I can reinvent myself. I'm Mike Meyrick'."

She took the hard drive to police last August.

Officers searched Meyrick's home, allegedly finding more images on 18 floppy disks.

In an email to Ms Ashby after the search, Meyrick is alleged to have said he was getting help from a counsellor and asked her to call off the police, saying he could help her do it if she needed.

Amy Meyrick told the court she had found hundreds of images of child pornography on Meyrick's computer since about 1996.

She would delete them each time.

Ms Meyrick said tearfully that she did not feel good about making a statement to police about the images because Meyrick was her father.

Under cross-examination by her father, who is representing himself, Ms Meyrick said her brother, Fred, and his friends had been in trouble before for accessing pornography on Meyrick's computer.

She agreed with Meyrick that her mother was an alcoholic who had blamed many things in her life on him.

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