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Ipswich: Convicted paedophile Peter Ashton jailed again after being found with child pornography

PUBLISHED: 11:52 28 May 2014

Peter Ashton, who was jailed for child pornography

Peter Ashton, who was jailed for child pornography

Archant

A 61-year-old convicted paedophile is back behind bars today after downloading 600 images of child pornography.

Peter Ashton, of Pearson Road, Ipswich, was sentenced to a total of 32 weeks’ imprisonment when he appeared before the town’s South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

Ashton had pleaded guilty to making indecent photographs a child, and a further count of possessing a prohibited image of a child, when he appeared before the court on May 2.

However, sentencing was adjourned for three weeks for a probation report to be prepared.

The court heard Ashton had previously served a 30-month jail term following a conviction at Ipswich Crown Court on April 19, 2000, for two counts on indecent assault on a female and a charge of gross indecency with a child.

Prosecutor Colette Harper told magistrates Ashton was on the sex offenders’ register when he committed his latest set of offences.

A public protection officer visited his home on September 19 last year.

A laptop was found and when the history was searched the computer was discovered to have contained a number of images of children.

Mrs Harper said 588 images were found at Level One, 12 images at Level Three and two images at Level Four.

In addition 208 cartoon images showing children being abused were also found.

Magistrates were told under the Copine Scale which grades child pornography Level One images depict children in erotic non-sexual activity.

Level Three is rated as non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children and Level Four – the second highest grading – is penetrative sexual activity between adults and children.

John Hughes, representing Ashton, asked magistrates to spare him a term of immediate imprisonment.

Mr Hughes said the pre-sentence report suggested Ashton should be able to go on a Thames Valley Sex Offenders Programme to address his offending.

The court was told it would be difficult to undertake this work in prison. The course takes three years.

However, after retiring to deliberate their sentence at length, the magistrates returned to court to tell Ashton his offences were so serious custody was the only option.

He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison for each of the charges to run consecutively.

Ashton was also made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for 10 years.

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