Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 0°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

19:00 02 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However during the hearing Hugh Rowland, representing Thorpe, asked for the proceedings against his client to be withdrawn.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Prosecutor Lucy Miller confirmed the charges would be withdrawn.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.

Stock image of the A11 in Red Lodge.

A luxury sports car crashed through a central reservation and caught fire in a single-vehicle crash in west Suffolk in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Bishop of Dunwich, the the Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison with organisers and volunteers at the Pop-up Shop at St Edmund's Church, Felixstowe.

People in need in Felixstowe are queuing for up to 45 minutes to buy a carrier bag of food for £1.

Cockaynes Wood, is off Cockaynes Lane, Alresford. Photo: Archant

A 60-home development has been approved in a north Essex village after an appeal – while another housebuilder asks for views on a separate 145-home estate.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Delivering millions of presents around the world in a single night won’t seem as strenuous this Christmas for Santa after he completed a gruelling obstacle course in Ipswich.

Stock image.

A BMW was involved in a single-vehicle crash in Suffolk on Saturday night.

Scene of fire on Stanford Street, Lowestoft.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A man has died in a flat fire, despite the desperate efforts of brave neighbours to carry out a rescue.

The RSPCA centre in Martlesham is appealing to animal lovers to consider adopting a new pet

The RSPCA are appealing for animal lovers to come forward and adopt some of the cute creatures they are looking to rehome.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24