Child porn sentence man found hanged

By Danielle NuttallCrime CorrespondentA MIDDLE-aged man who was due to be sentenced for downloading child porn is believed to have hanged himself hours before attending court.

By Danielle Nuttall

Crime Correspondent

A MIDDLE-aged man who was due to be sentenced for downloading child porn is believed to have hanged himself hours before attending court.

Christopher Venis, 48, of Low Road, Earl Soham, had admitted 16 offences of making indecent pictures of children aged under 16 between April 1999 and March 2003.


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He was due to be sentenced at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court yesterday but paramedics and police officers were called to his home just hours before he was expected before a judge.

A spokesman for the East Anglian Ambulance Trust confirmed paramedics had been sent to Venis' address after a telephone call from the house.

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“We got a call at 8.37am to an attempted suicide. A person was hanging when they were found at the address,” he added.

The spokesman said the ambulance crew and a paramedic had tried to resuscitate Venis, but their attempts had failed.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said it had launched an investigation into the sudden death of Venis.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious. The coroner has been informed and will be presented with the results of the investigation in due course,” she added.

Venis had first been due in court on July 28, but Ipswich in magistrates were told his sister had telephoned to say he was in hospital after taking an overdose.

He pleaded guilty to all the charges on August 18 when he appeared before South East Suffolk magistrates and was due to be sentenced yesterday by Judge John Holt.

But the proceedings were adjourned yesterday after barristers told the judge what had happened.

Bury St Edmunds Crown Court clerk, Robert Utting, said the details of the hearing were heard by the judge in his chambers, rather than before the public in open court.

The hearing was officially adjourned because cases against people who have died cannot be discontinued until a death certificate has been produced in court.

The court has to be satisfied the person named is deceased before proceedings can be marked as “no effect”.

danielle.nuttall@eadt.co.uk

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