Cautioned but not jailed for child porn

PROSECUTORS today said they could not comment on why a disgraced company director had been cautioned for possessing child porn - seven years after being imprisoned for similar offences.

PROSECUTORS today said they could not comment on why a disgraced company director had been cautioned for possessing child porn - seven years after being imprisoned for similar offences.

Stephen Hayter, commercial director at Rockford Components in Rendlesham, was arrested in May last year on suspicion of possessing two images of child pornography.

He was cautioned by police in November on the guidance of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but a spokeswoman for the CPS said she could not comment on why Hayter had not been charged because the reasons were “highly confidential”.

Today, a leading children's charity called for an end to the “circle of exploitation” in these circumstances.

Hayter was convicted in 1999 of one charge of distributing child pornography and 20 charges of possessing child pornography.

Detectives raided his former home in Cardew Drift, Kesgrave, after tracing his e-mail address following a raid by German police on a company in Berlin.

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They traced some of the images to the Anglianet internet provider in Ipswich which were then traced back to Hayter.

He was sentenced to three months in prison after pleading guilty to the offences at Ipswich Crown Court but he continued in his position at Rockford.

The circumstances surrounding the discovery of the latest two images are not known but police confirmed they were level two images - the lower end of the scale.

Child porn is categorised into five levels - level one being the least serious and level five the most severe (with images featuring torture).

Hayter was arrested on May 17, 2005 and bailed. He was then cautioned by police on November 23.

A spokesman for the NSPCC said: “In general terms the NSPCC believes that every time an individual accesses the internet to view or download images, they are reinforcing the demand for more children to be abused.

“This cycle of exploitation must be stopped.

“We can't comment on this specific case as we were not involved.”

Hayter, 49, an ex-chairman of Woodbridge Round Table, said he would not comment on the caution.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police confirmed a 49-year-old man had been cautioned for possessing two images of child pornography.

What do you think about the caution? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink:

www.cps.gov.uk

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