A Halstead man, who was caught with indecent images of children in his home, has avoided jail time, after his sentence was suspended for one year.
Jake West, 20, of Church Road, Halstead, was given a six-month prison term, suspended for 12 months, at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court, after admitting a charge of making indecent imagery of children.
He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for seven years, and was ordered by magistrates to complete 180 hours of unpaid work, as well as a 40-day rehabilitation programme.
The court was told how officers of the Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders team (MOSOVO), attended the home of West, a registered sex offender, on January 17, 2017.
While carrying out a search of the property, the officers seized a PlayStation 4 console belongoing to West, which was found to contain two Category C images featuring children being abused.
West is one of more than 40 offenders to be arrested as part of an ongoing crackdown by Essex Police, which is aimed at targeting offenders who are downloading, making and distributing indecent images of children online.
Over the last 10 months, using an intelligence-led approach, a task force comprised of specialist officers has been working to catch those carrying out this type of offence.
The dedicated team has collaborated with Essex Police’s existing specialist Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) and Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT).
Following West’s sentencing in November, Det Sgt Ashley Howard, who is leading the Essex Police crackdown effort on online indecent image crimes, said: “We will continue to proactively and robustly target those offenders who download, distribute or make indecent images of children.
“People may believe this type of crime is not harmful because they are not physically abusing a child.
“But children are physically abused in order to create those images in the first place and every time those pictures of films are viewed or passed on, those children are being exploited again.”
Essex Police has also promoted the work of The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a national charity which works to prevent child sexual abuse and runs the Stop it Now abuse prevention campaign and helpline.
For more information about the Stop It Now campaign, please visit the website www.stopitnow.org.uk or telephone the confidential Stop it Now helpline on 0808 1000 900.