A disgraced former Labour MP who lives in Suffolk has been given a suspended prison sentence after a child sex abuse movie was found on his computer.

A disgraced former Labour MP who lives in Suffolk has been given a suspended prison sentence after a child sex abuse movie was found on his computer.

Sentencing 59-year-old Eric Joyce to an eight month prison sentence suspended for two years, The Hon. Mr Justice Edis described the offence as serious and said although he was only sentencing him for one film it formed part of a pattern of behaviour by him.

The judge said the film, which lasted 51 seconds, was found on a computer seized by police officers when they went to Joyce’s home at Worlingworth, near Framlingham, in November 2018.

The film, which was in the most serious level A category of child porn, showed seven children aged between 12 months and seven being sexually abused by an adult male.

“These acts of abuse happen because there are people like you who want to watch these films.

“If there was no market these children wouldn’t be subjected to these very serious offences,” added the judge.

“I am dealing with you for a single film but I’m not dealing with you as if it is an isolated, out of character or accidental event. It was part of a pattern,” said the judge.

Joyce pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court last month to making an indecent image of a child between August 7, 2013, and November 6, 2018.

In addition to the suspended sentence Joyce, a former MP for Falkirk, was ordered to attend a sex offenders’ programme for 27 days and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.

He was given an 18 day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay £1,800 costs.

Joyce was made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

Michael Procter, prosecuting, said Joyce had previous convictions for offences between 2010 and 2015 including drink driving, common assault and a public order offence.

He said although Joyce denied seeing any indecent images of children on his computer when he was first interviewed by police he later admitted looking at child porn involving underage girls after he’d been drinking.

He said he had lied to police in his first interview out of “fear and panic” and denied being sexually interested in children.

Mark Shelley, for Joyce, said his client had no previous convictions for sex offences.

He said that since his arrest Joyce had completed a course with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and he had had this court case hanging over him since November 2018.

He described Joyce as a hard working man who had spent time in the army and as an MP before his life “imploded”.

He said Joyce had started drinking and his life had been destroyed by behaviour as seen in his previous convictions.

He said Joyce had a partner and he was now teetotal.

Joyce left Labour to serve as independent MP for Falkirk in 2012, stepping down before the 2015 general election.

He also spent 21 years in the army, rising to the rank of major.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Anyone accessing indecent images of children is helping to fuel a foul industry that thrives on inflicting pain and suffering.

“This problem cannot be solved by law enforcement alone - it is imperative that tech companies commit extra resources to prevent this material being shared, and to ensure it is removed as soon it appears online.”