Indecent images of 18-month-olds found on Lavenham man’s computers

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A man was caught with indecent images of children as young as 18 months on his computers when police searched his home in Lavenham.

Ipswich Crown Court also heard today that one of the images on Simon Wade’s computers showed a young girl tied up and being forced to perform sex acts.

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said downloads passed to the National Crime Agency by an internet service provider were traced to an internet address used by Wade, 62, of Barn Street.

When officers with a warrant searched the house on October 30 last year, Wade told them the only computers he had were downstairs but another was found in an upstairs office.

Mr Jackson said expert examination of that iPad and a storage device revealed 79 indecent images of children and three movies.

Fourteen images and one of the films were assessed as being of the most serious type and a detective who reviewed them had said the children involved appeared to be aged between 18 months and 10 years.

The images had been downloaded using file sharing software over about 12 months.

Wade, a retired furniture industry project manager, pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of children.

Sarrah Kerslake, defending, said Wade had no previous convictions and the offences had been ‘completely out of character’.

Ms Kerslake said Wade himself had suffered as a result of events he said had occurred while he was a pupil at a boarding school and which he had been reticent to tell anyone about.

Since retiring in 2012 and moving to Lavenham with his long-term partner, Wade had too much time of his hands and had become ‘curious’ about what was on the internet.

Ms Kerslake said: “He is frankly saying he became drawn into the dark world of the internet.”

Since details of the offences became public, Wade had been ostracised and had attempted to move from Lavenham but the estate agents handling the sale had told him they were unwilling to have further dealings with him.

Ms Kerslake told the court: “He maintains that there was and never has been any sexual attraction to children.”

Since his arrest Wade had been taking steps to help himself by contacting an organisation which provides specialist counselling and support, said Ms Kerslake.

Sentencing him, Judge John Devaux told Wade: “It doesn’t need the court to point out that what you did was encouraging the production of these images.”

Wade was made the subject of a three year community order with condition that during that time he is under Probation Service supervision and takes part in an internet sex offender treatment programme.

Judge Devaux ordered Wade to pay £500 prosecution costs and said he would have to sign on the sexual offences register for the next five years.