Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Southwold: Carpenter took photos of young girls on beach

15:00 19 February 2013

A carpenter took photos of girls on Southwold beach

A carpenter took photos of girls on Southwold beach

Archant

A MAN who took close-up pictures of young girls on the beach at Southwold has received a suspended jail sentence.

Matthew Bence, 43, a carpenter, from Wareside, Hertfordshire, had his head in his hands in the dock at St Albans Crown Court as prosecutor Colin Banham outlined a catalogue of offences.

He said Bence came to the attention of the police after they received intelligence about communications on Yahoo messenger.

Officers executed a search warrant at his home on 27 April last year and seized a laptop and camera.

Bence was out, but returned later, saying that any chat on line was “fantasy”.

The Toshiba laptop was examined and the police found 203 images at Level 1 (the least serious level), 11 at Level 3 and nine at Level 4 (the second most serious).

When his camera was analysed, 125 Level 1 images of girls aged between five and nine in swimming costumes and bikinis were discovered, taken on the beach at Southwold on October 2, 2011.

When questioned, he said he had transferred the images from Southwold beach to his computer but had then deleted them.

Bence, previously of Kingham Road, Wareside, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to eight counts of making (downloading) indecent images of children, possessing indecent images of children, four of distributing indecent images of children, taking indecent pictures of a child, possessing extreme pornography, three of publishing obscene articles and cultivating two cannabis plants.

Defence barrister David Claydon said he had no relevant previous convictions and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

“He expresses his shock and disgust at the way he behaved.”

Mr Claydon said Bence, who has been married for 20 years, has sought help from the Lucy Faithfull foundation – a child abuse charity.

Judge Stephen Gullick passed an eight-week jail sentence suspended for two years. He must abide by a two-year community order and will be supervised on a Sex Offender Treatment Programme.

He told Bence: “The order is to try to ensure you don’t commit offences and to protect children from you.”

0 comments

Police have released images of rings they believe were stolen from Essex or Suffolk

Police continue to search for the owner of jewellery believed stolen from either Essex or Suffolk and recovered by officers last Thursday.

Clacton bus crash. Image: Ashley Scott

A 16-year-old boy was airlifted to hospital with multiple injuries following a serious crash in Clacton this afternoon.

These young barn owls help with the camera settings. Picture: Brian Smith

Help can come in all shapes and sizes - but we are not sure if these barn owls are helping or hindering this poor photographer.

Accident Newmarket Barbara Stradbroke Ave.

Tributes have been paid after a cyclist died in a serious crash in Newmarket this morning.

There was a large staff at Ipswich Station in 1895.

The refurbishment of Ipswich station is nearing completion and to mark the we are looking back at the station’s history.

People are being encouraged to sign up for this year's Great East Swim training programme

People looking for a new challenge are being urged to take the plunge and sign up for this year’s Great East Swim.

A baby sparrow in a garden in Hatfield Peverel. By Paul Burns.

It’s the annual Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend, and we want to see your photographs from across Suffolk.

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