Sidford Paedophile who had 3,500 child abuse images avoids jail

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A Sidford man who was found with thousands of child abuse images has been ordered to complete a sex offenders course.

David Martin downloaded images and movies of children as young as four suffering very serious abuse while he was suffering from depression after the death of his father, Exeter Crown Court heard.

A judge was told police raided the 49-year-old’s home near Sidmouth after he was traced through his online activity.

Officers seized two laptops and a storage device which contained more than 3,500 child images and more than 300 movies. Police also found 758 images and nine movies involving animals.

Martin, of Stevens Close, admitted four counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme images.

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Judge Peter Johnson handed him a one year jail sentence, suspended for two years and ordered him to undertake a sex offenders course as part of 30 days rehabilitation activities.

He was put on the sex offenders register for ten years and made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will allow the police to monitor his internet activities.

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Judge Johnson said he was not imposing an immediate prison sentence because Martin had acknowledged his problem and sought help voluntarily from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and the Stop it Now charity.

Judith Constable, prosecuting, said police raided Martin’s home and seized equipment which was analysed by experts and found to contain images.

She said there were 835 stills and 229 movies in the worst category involving children, and thousands more in lesser categories.

The investigators had stopped counting after a time and so there could have been even more images on the devices.

Mrs Constable said search terms were found including one for ‘webcam young’ and it was clear he had deliberately sought the material on the internet.

Felicity Payne, defending, said Martin was suffering from anxiety and depression linked to the death of his father.

She added he had since sought treatment and had voluntarily addressed his interest in looking at the images.

Miss Payne said the defendant had also been totally open with the police.

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