South East Wales

No Wales evidence of James Hanna child abuse - Gwent Police

James Hanna
Image caption James Hanna, 66, pleaded guilty to creating child abuse images

Police say they have found no evidence that a man who produced child abuse images in America had committed offences while living in Wales.

Mississippi-born James Hanna has admitted producing sexually explicit photos of two girls of 13 in Arkansas.

Before returning to the US, Hanna, 66, ran a second-hand book scheme in Blaenavon, Torfaen, a decade ago.

Gwent Police have investigated five images found on Hanna's computer that were passed on by detectives in the US.

As a result of the review, Gwent Police said: "Following Hanna's arrest in Arkansas, USA, in August 2012, Madison County Sheriff's Office provided Gwent Police with five indecent images which they suspected of being from outside the US.

"Following detailed and extensive inquiries with partner agencies Gwent Police has concluded that those who feature in the images do not appear to be from the Gwent area.

"The images in question are being passed to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) as is standard in such investigations."

Hanna faces up to 60 years in jail when he is sentenced for taking sexually explicit photographs of the girls at his home.

In Wales, he was a key figure in the Booktown project in Blaenavon from 2003-06.

It is known that Hanna worked with schoolchildren and local youth projects when he lived in Blaenavon, although he was not employed directly by the local authority. He was also involved in a number of photography projects with teenagers.

The review by Gwent Police also looked at fraud allegations made against Hanna in 2006.

In a statement, Gwent Police also said: "In respect of the fraud allegations, a file of evidence was presented to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 2006 and the decision taken by the CPS at the time was "no further action".

"The review has looked again at the original case and has also considered whether any other new evidence is available in relation to the allegations.

"The review has not identified any material which would lead us to ask the CPS to reconsider their original decision."

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