Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 14°C

Search

Orwell Bridge death update: Man who died, Peter Thorpe, was due in court on child porn and obscenity charges

PUBLISHED: 19:00 02 July 2014 | UPDATED: 06:22 03 July 2014

Orwell Bridge

Orwell Bridge

(c) copyright citizenside.com

A 66-year-old man’s body was found below the Orwell Bridge just five hours before he was due to appear before Ipswich magistrates on sex offence charges.

Peter Thorpe, of St John’s Court, Sunfield Close, Ipswich, was found in the river after he is believed to have fallen from the bridge early this morning.

Thorpe had been due to appear before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court for his first hearing on allegations of making indecent images of a child and publishing an obscene article.

However during the hearing Hugh Rowland, representing Thorpe, asked for the proceedings against his client to be withdrawn.

Mr Rowland said he had seen Thorpe on yesterday afternoon in preparation for today’s case.

The court heard the solicitor had been instructing Thorpe since February and had met him to discuss what his defence was going to be.

Magistrates were told Thorpe had died during the intervening period.

Prosecutor Lucy Miller confirmed the charges would be withdrawn.

Since the hearing it has emerged that in February last year Thorpe was cautioned for a possessing an indecent photo of a child. The offence took place in March 2012.

The most recent charges against him allege that on or before December 2013 Thorpe published obscene conversations on Facebook.

It is understood this related to him pretending to be a young woman named Josephine in a fictional account he had set up.

Within the conversations he was alleged to have made comments of a sexual nature.

The second accusation he faced relating to indecent images of a child was said to have taken place on or before December 19 last year.

The images were Level One, Two, Three and Five on the Copine Scale, which is used to grade child pornography, with Level Five being pictures of the most serious nature.

It is believed around 30 photos/psuedo photos were found on his Acer netbook, although the charge actually related to specimen numbers of images.

Thorpe also possessed a Dell laptop on which some of the obscene conversations on Facebook occurred.

Suffolk police received a report of a man being on the parapet of the Orwell Bridge at 5.10am yesterday.

A car had been reportedly abandoned on the bridge.

Officers were sent to the scene along with paramedics, the coastguard and a RNLI lifeboat crew.

Simon Stevens, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, said police would not be naming the deceased as formal identification was still to take place.

The coroner has been informed and an inquest will be held in due course.

Forty-two people have died since the Orwell Bridge opened in 1982, according to official figures.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Emergency services are at the scene of a two-vehicle crash in Fressingfield near Eye.

A man suffering from colitis who got a parking ticket while on an emergency bathroom break says the council could have shown him sympathy and let him off.

Motorists could face delays on the roads today as police escort an abnormal load through the county.

A new dualled A120 between Braintree and the A12 could see the first vehicles hit the road by mid 2026, according to a new report.

Essex Police have released a CCTV image of a woman they would like to speak to in connection to a shop theft in Braintree last week.

Firefighters tackled a blaze in Ardleigh near Colchester yesterday involving 60 tonnes of straw.

The whole care system in Suffolk must pull together in order to help our already challenged emergency departments make it through this winter safely.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24