15-year-old boy admits to child pornography offences

IPSWICH: A boy has admitted downloading nearly 1,270 indecent images of children over a period covering two years.

The 15-year-old, who lives in Ipswich but cannot be named, is under a court order today after it was alleged he began collecting the images when he was just 13 years old.

He is believed to be the youngest person to be prosecuted in Suffolk for child pornography.

The offences are understood to have been discovered when a schoolteacher found an image of a child on an MP3 player.

The matter was referred to police who seized three computers from his home. They found hundreds of indecent images on two of them and nearly two dozen on another.

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The images were all at Level One - the lowest grading for child pornography. The category includes posed nudity, rather than explicit sexual content.

The teenager admitted three offences of making indecent images when he appeared before a youth court in Ipswich.

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All the offences were said to have taken place between January 1, 2008, and February 25 this year.

One of the computers seized contained 965 images, another 282 images, and the third 21.

The boy was arrested by police on March 29 and charged on July 15.

After admitting the offences he was given a 12-month referral order by the court.

A panel, along with the youngster and their parents, agree a contract to address the offending behaviour.

After the case Dr Clive Sims, consultant forensic psychologist at St Clement’s Hospital, in Ipswich, said the ability to access sites on the web, allied to communicating with others while in isolation brings its own temptations.

Stressing he was talking in general terms and not about this case in particular, Dr Sims said: “There are two issues. One is the ease of access to dubious sites. The other is the growth of the web and the ability to share sites and create images with other people.

“You find parents do not have the slightest idea what their children are up to on the internet.

“It means there are no parental controls or guidance as to what is right or wrong. If there’s no guidance where does the child obtain it from?

“If they obtain it from people they meet on the net then they can be exposed to very dubious opinion.”

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