Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Orwell Bridge death update: Man who died, Peter Thorpe, was due in court on child porn and obscenity charges

19:00 02 July 2014

Orwell Bridge

Orwell Bridge

(c) copyright citizenside.com

A 66-year-old man’s body was found below the Orwell Bridge just five hours before he was due to appear before Ipswich magistrates on sex offence charges.

Peter Thorpe, of St John’s Court, Sunfield Close, Ipswich, was found in the river after he is believed to have fallen from the bridge early this morning.

Thorpe had been due to appear before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court for his first hearing on allegations of making indecent images of a child and publishing an obscene article.

However during the hearing Hugh Rowland, representing Thorpe, asked for the proceedings against his client to be withdrawn.

Mr Rowland said he had seen Thorpe on yesterday afternoon in preparation for today’s case.

The court heard the solicitor had been instructing Thorpe since February and had met him to discuss what his defence was going to be.

Magistrates were told Thorpe had died during the intervening period.

Prosecutor Lucy Miller confirmed the charges would be withdrawn.

Since the hearing it has emerged that in February last year Thorpe was cautioned for a possessing an indecent photo of a child. The offence took place in March 2012.

The most recent charges against him allege that on or before December 2013 Thorpe published obscene conversations on Facebook.

It is understood this related to him pretending to be a young woman named Josephine in a fictional account he had set up.

Within the conversations he was alleged to have made comments of a sexual nature.

The second accusation he faced relating to indecent images of a child was said to have taken place on or before December 19 last year.

The images were Level One, Two, Three and Five on the Copine Scale, which is used to grade child pornography, with Level Five being pictures of the most serious nature.

It is believed around 30 photos/psuedo photos were found on his Acer netbook, although the charge actually related to specimen numbers of images.

Thorpe also possessed a Dell laptop on which some of the obscene conversations on Facebook occurred.

Suffolk police received a report of a man being on the parapet of the Orwell Bridge at 5.10am yesterday.

A car had been reportedly abandoned on the bridge.

Officers were sent to the scene along with paramedics, the coastguard and a RNLI lifeboat crew.

Simon Stevens, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, said police would not be naming the deceased as formal identification was still to take place.

The coroner has been informed and an inquest will be held in due course.

Forty-two people have died since the Orwell Bridge opened in 1982, according to official figures.

Suffolk’s arachnid recorder said he would be “very surprised” if claims of a deadly spider infestation in the county were accurate.

Detectives investigating a double stabbing in Ipswich have been granted further time to question a 17-year-old boy from Ipswich who was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis finds great value at Pump and Grind in the centre of Ipswich.

If you are still struggling for Christmas gift ideas for your children, nieces and nephews, this could help you out. Here we list the must-have toys that will be under Christmas trees in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Woodbridge this year.

Looking for a fun family day out in Suffolk or north Essex this weekend? We could have the answer.

Motorists heading to London will face delays on the roads early next year as Highways England undertake a series of roadworks.

An Ipswich basketball player has returned to his native Africa to hand out clothes and sports equipment to children in deprived areas.

The air ambulance has been called alongside other emergency services to a serious crash on the B1106 in Elveden, near Center Parcs.

A man accused of raping a woman he met on a dating website has been cleared by a jury.

A man and a teenage boy were stabbed this afternoon in Ipswich at West Meadows near the Whitehouse Interchange.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24