Suspended sentence for man who downloaded indecent images

ipswich crown court

The case was heard at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

An Ipswich man who downloaded more than 100 indecent images and movies of children and tried to get a nine year-old-boy to send him an indecent picture has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Andrew Hart sent the boy an email pretending to be a nine-year-old girl called Hannah and dared him to send an indecent picture of himself, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When the boy thought the person who had contacted him might be older, Hart had sent him a picture of a young blonde girl, said David Wilson, prosecuting.

The boy had sent back a picture of himself which “Hannah” said was cute and then repeated the request for him to do the dare.

Mr Wilson said the exchange between Hart and the boy had taken place in 2016 and following his arrest a number of indecent images and videos of children were found on his computer equipment.

Hart, 25, of Thistle Close, Ipswich admitted three offences of making indecent images of a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity by sending him an indecent image.

He was given a 21-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours' unpaid work and a 60-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

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He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for the same period.

Sentencing him, Recorder William Clegg said there had been a four-year delay in Hart being sentenced by the court which was not his fault and he hadn’t reoffended in the meantime.

The offences took place in 2016 and 2017.

Mr Wilson told the court that of the 100 indecent images and movies of children downloaded by Hart four of the images and six of the movies were in the most serious level A category, 23 of the images and 12 movies were in category B and 71 of the images and one movie were in the lowest level C category.

He said the inciting a child to engage in sexual activity offence related to Hart inviting a nine-year-old boy to send him pictures of his naked genitalia.

Simon Gladwell, for Hart, said his client had no previous convictions and was the sole carer for his father who had a number of health problems.

He said the offences happened more than four years ago and Hart hadn’t reoffended.