Harwich man sentenced after 600 images of children being sexually abused found on his laptop

Chelmsford Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Chelmsford Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A north Essex man who had more than 600 images of young children being sexually abused has been made the subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Mark Fitzjohn, 26, who was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court, was also given a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete 40 days of rehabilitation.

Officers, acting on intelligence, carried out a search warrant at Fitzjohn’s home in Willow Way, Harwich, on December 16, 2016.

Having seized various computer equipment, which included a laptop, hard drive and tablet, they found 202 Category A moving and still images, 260 Category B moving and still images and 185 Category C images.

Category A is the most serious category of abuse imagery.

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Fitzjohn pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent imagery of children. As well as his sentence, he was fined £350 and ordered to pay £535 in costs.

Following the sentencing on March 15, Detective Inspector Ashley Howard said: “Perpetrators like Fitzjohn no doubt think it’s perfectly acceptable to download abuse imagery of children – it isn’t.

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“Every time people go online to view, download or distribute an indecent image of a child, the exploitation of that child occurs again and again.

“Essex Police will continue to proactively target those offenders who download, view of distribute indecent imagery of children.”

Fitzjohn is one of more than 58 offenders arrested during a crackdown aimed at targeting offenders downloading, making and distributing indecent images of children online.

Over the year, using an intelligence-led approach, a team of specialist officers have targeted those carrying out this type of offence and worked alongside and in support of Essex Police’s existing specialist Police Online Investigation Team and Child Abuse Investigation Teams.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation is the only UK-wide child protection charity focused solely on preventing child sexual abuse. The charity runs Stop it Now! – a child sexual abuse prevention campaign and helpline.

For more information on how Stop it Now! helps people address their online behaviour, visit the website here or call the confidential Stop it Now! Helpline on 0808 1000 900.

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