MasterChef contestant who tried to blackmail police after being caught with child abuse images jailed for three years

22 June 2023, 14:23 | Updated: 22 June 2023, 15:47

Caerwyn Ash has been jailed for three years.
Caerwyn Ash has been jailed for three years. Picture: BBC/South Wales Police

By Jenny Medlicott

A former Masterchef contestant has been jailed after he tried to blackmail police with alleged sex images of them after he was caught in possession of child abuse images.

Caerwyn Ash, 41, from Swansea has been jailed after he threatened to publish images of police officers engaging in sexual activity after they caught him with a stash of child abuse images.

He was found guilty of being in possession of 20 indecent images and five videos, as well as extreme pornography and attempting to pervert the court of justice.

Of the 20 indecent images obtained, 11 were in the most serious category A, prosecutor James Wilson said.

The images contained child sex images as well as adults having sex with animals.

Ash has been sentenced to three years in prison, one year for possessing and downloading indecent images and two for attempting to pervert the court of justice.

He walked into Swansea police station with a brown envelope addressed to the head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) after he had been caught with the images.

He alleged the envelope contained sexually explicit material of officers from South Wales police that he would distribute to “create an earthquake” unless the charges against him were dropped.

He also claimed the images had been obtained via a “trusted friend in the Press Association”.

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Caerwyn Ash, 41, has been sentenced to three years in prison for possessing child abuse images and perverting the course of justice.
Caerwyn Ash, 41, has been sentenced to three years in prison for possessing child abuse images and perverting the course of justice. Picture: South Wales Police

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Police found five videos of category A child abuse and extreme pornography on a hard drive at his partner’s home in Morriston, Swansea in April 2019.

But Ash denied the charges made against him, as he said he “would never look at such an image” and would “report it immediately to the police” if he ever came across such images.

Ash made it to the quarter-finals of MasterChef in 2016.

He said he has lost two homes since his arrest and his life has been “destroyed”.

Judge Wayne Beard said at sentencing: “You have consistently denied any wrongdoing and I must sentence you on the jury's verdict.

"In the light of that and you not accepting the jury's verdict there is no prospect of rehabilitation. The images and videos speak for themselves because of their serious categories.

"Your possession of extreme pornography shows a level of obsession in sexual matters."

Judge Beard also said: “You indicated you had already provided members of the press with videos of those police officers. This was a deliberate, manipulative and cynical attempt.

“However it was an attempt that was very unlikely ever to succeed in any way, shape or form."

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