Majorette man jailed for child porn

A FORMER musical director with a Suffolk majorette group is today starting a three-year jail sentence after bombarding a 14-year-old girl with sexually explicit text messages.

A FORMER musical director with a Suffolk majorette group is today starting a three-year jail sentence after bombarding a 14-year-old girl with sexually explicit text messages.

David Hinton-Smith, 34, formerly of Felixstowe, also admitted downloading child porn from the internet.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Hinton-Smith, now of Groveside, Yoxford, befriended the girl before sending her a series of increasingly explicit text messages - sometimes more than 20 a day inviting her to engage in sexual activities with him.

Penny Rector, prosecuting, said: "He developed a habit of sending her texts, just as a concerned father figure, to ask how she was, but the texts became increasingly sexual in content.

"There was clearly a degree of hero-worship on her part to begin with but she was not happy about these approaches."

The text messaging ended when the girl's mother found the messages and reported it to police.

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When they searched his home and seized his computer they found 12 items of child pornography, consisting of still images and short movies - eight of these were stored on his computer's hard disk meaning they could be accessed by other paedophiles on the internet.

The images featured children thought to range from around six to fourteen years old.

At an earlier hearing Hinton-Smith admitted two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, four counts of making indecent images of children and eight counts of possessing indecent images of children with intent to distribute them to others.

Charles Wyatt, mitigating, said Hinton-Smith had only downloaded the images out of "curiosity" and that it had been a one-off.

He said: "There is punishment already in the loss of his good name, his reputation and his family and wife of 16 years."

Judge John Devaux sentenced Hinton-Smith to nine months in prison for each count of making indecent pictures and 12 months in prison for each count of possessing them with intent. These sentences will run concurrently.

For the text messages he sentenced him to a five-year extended sentence to run consecutively to the others. Two years of this will be custodial, meaning he will be in custody for a total of three years.

For the remaining three years of the extended sentence he will be on licence so that if he re-offends in that time he will be sent straight back to prison as well as receiving a new sentence for the fresh offences.

Judge Devaux also ordered the destruction of the computer and banned him from working with children.

He was also ordered not to associate with or befriend any child under the age of 16 except members of his own family.

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