Judge criticises lack of specific treatment for women who download child porn after Ardleigh woman, 20, is found with 1,200 indecent images

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A judge has criticised the lack of treatment programmes for women who download child porn after learning there were only courses set up for men.

A judge has criticised the lack of treatment programmes for women who download child porn after learning there were only courses set up for men.

Judge Rupert Overbury said although it was uncommon for women to commit this kind of crime he found it “appalling” there were not any specific internet sex offenders’ treatment programmes for women.

He made his remarks at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday during the sentencing hearing of a 20-year-old Ardleigh woman who admitted downloading child porn, possessing prohibited images of children and possessing extreme pornography.

After being told the only internet sex offenders’ treatment programmes were for men, Judge Overbury ordered Alice Smith to attend a 60-day rehabilitation activity requirement which a probation officer said could incorporate some aspects of the internet sex offenders’ programme.


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In addition he sentenced Smith to an eight-month period of detention in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for two years, and ordered her to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years.

He also made her the subject of a two-year sexual harm prevention order.

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The court heard Smith, of Bromley Road, Ardleigh, had 1,200 indecent images of children on a computer tower and a laptop seized by police from her home in September 2015.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said 200 of the images were at the highest level A, 300 were at level B and there were 700 in the lowest C category.

The court heard Smith, who has no previous convictions, had admitted having indecent images on her computer to police officers who seized the equipment.

Laura Austin, for Smith, said the indecent images were downloaded over a five-month period.

She said Smith lived in a rural area where there was not a very good understanding of identity and transgender matters which had resulted in her feeling excluded from the local community.

She said Smith was remorseful and was unlikely to reoffend.

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