Woman in master/slave relationship was asked to supply indecent images

Ipswich Crown Court

Catherine Wicks appeared at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

An Essex woman who had a master/slave relationship with a man during which he rewarded her sexually for sending him indecent images of children has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Police officers who seized 45-year-old Catherine Wicks’ mobile phone found 20 indecent images of children, including nine in the most serious level A category, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Wicks, of St Mary’s Road, Kelvedon, admitted three offences of making indecent images of children and was given a six month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

She was also given a 50-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

David Baird, prosecuting, said the case dated back to January 2018 when police executed a warrant at Wicks’ home and seized a number of devices, including a mobile phone.

When the phone was analysed in addition to the nine category A images there were also six category B images and five in the lowest level C category.

The images were mainly of girls aged 13-15 but there were a couple of category A images of children aged nine or ten.

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Wicks told police she’d been in a relationship with a man for two and a half years which was characterised by master/slave scenarios and that she was rewarded sexually for sending him indecent images of children.

She said she didn’t agree with it and hadn’t got any sexual gratification from the images.

She told officers that after downloading the images she had sent them to the man on WhatsApp.

Matthew Dance, for Wicks, said his client had mental health issues and had ended the relationship with the man who had asked her to obtain the images.

He said Wicks had obtained a university degree and had worked at the duty-free shop at Stansted Airport.

More recently she had worked at Next but had lost that job after being honest about the court proceedings.

Recorder Heather Rogers told Wicks the offences were so serious that only a prison sentence would do. However, she felt able to suspend the term of imprisonment because of her mental health fragility and the efforts she had made to address her issues.

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