Man found with 18,000 indecent child images sentenced

Ipswich crown court with road sign

Andrew Richardson appeared at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A 60-year-old Suffolk man who was ostracised by his wife and children after they discovered he’d downloaded more than 18,000 indecent images of children has been given a suspended prison sentence.

In addition to losing his family, Andrew Richardson was also jobless after resigning from his job at AXA because he didn’t want to embarrass his employers, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Richardson, who was living in Shotley Gate but is now living in a camper van in Kent, pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of children and a further offence of possessing a prohibited image of a child. 

He was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work.

He was also given a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 40 days and ordered to pay £450 costs.

Judge David Pugh also made Richardson the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

Police went to Richardson’s home in August 2020 with a search warrant after receiving information in December 2019 that he’d sent an indecent image of a child to a friend via Facebook.

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Officers seized a portable hard drive which was found to contain 3,829 indecent images of children in the most serious level A category, 4,308 category images in category B and 10,496 images in the lowest level C category.

Shanice Mahmud, prosecuting, said in addition to those images there were a further 9,185 images which hadn’t been categorised by the police because of the sheer number of images.

The court heard that Richardson had no previous convictions and had made full admissions to police.

Folishade Abiodun, for Richardson, she said that as a result of his behaviour, which he accepted was his own fault, he had lost his 30-year marriage and his two sons no longer wanted to have contact with him.

“He hasn’t spoken to them since,” said Miss Abiodun.

She said Richardson had also left his job as a result of the offences and had been living in a camper van.

She said Richardson had a degree in health and safety and hoped to find employment in that field in the future.

She said he had some underlying issues which he hadn’t addressed in the past.

“He is deeply remorseful,” said Miss Abiodun.

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