Suffolk man found with 6,000 indecent images of children avoids jail

Martyn Hart was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Martyn Hart was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

A Wickham Market man who downloaded more than 6,000 indecent images of children has been has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight to prison.

Police officers went to Martyn Hart’s home in March last year after they were contacted by a member of his extended family who became concerned after seeing pictures of children on his mobile phone, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Officers seized a tower unit and a hard drive and when they were analysed by an expert they were found to contain 5 indecent images of children in the highest level A category, 16 level B images and 6,768 indecent images in the lowest level C category, said Peter Gair, prosecuting.

There was also one category C movie.

In addition officers found short stories written by Hart involving sex activity with children but there was no evidence of him committing contact offences with children, said Mr Gair.

Hart, 65, of Chapel Lane, Wickham Market, admitted three offences of making indecent images of children and was given a three year community order.

He was also ordered to attend 29 sessions at a group sex offenders’ treatment programme and a 35 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

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Hart was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

Both orders will last for five years.

Paul Donegan, representing Hart, said his client, who has no previous convictions, had denied having a sexual interest in children when he was interviewed by the probation service.

“He needs to be challenged about this,” said Mr Donegan.

He said that Hart claimed that the sexual stories involving children had been written 20 years ago and he hadn’t distributed them to anyone else.

Sentencing Hart Judge Goodin said: “In the pre-sentence report you deny any sexual interest in children. I have to say I reject entirely as fantasy any such suggestion that you don’t have any sexual interest in children. You plainly do because of the search terms you used such as ‘jailbait girls’.”

He said he was concerned by the short stories involving sexual activity with children which included a child initiating sexual activity.

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