Thousands of indecent images of children found at Ipswich pensioner’s home

PUBLISHED: 08:09 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 15:48 05 November 2020

Anthony Down was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Anthony Down was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

An Ipswich pensioner caught with thousands of indecent images of children after a smart phone was discovered hidden at his home has avoided prison.

Following a previous conviction, Anthony Down, 67, was already subject to a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO), and was visited at home by a police officer and a public protection officer on May 1, 2019.

They gained entry to Down’s home in Great Gipping Street, Ipswich, and one of the officers became aware of an item on a shelf, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Down told the officer to “be careful” as the item had recently fallen off the wall but on closer inspection, a blue smart phone was found hidden behind it, Lori Tucker, prosecuting, told the court.

The phone was seized and Down was then asked if he had any other devices in his home.

He admitted to possessing further devices and a computer tower, router, and a USB stick were also seized and taken for analysis.

The devices revealed Down was in possession of 396 Category A images – the most serious kind – as well as 530 classed as Category B and a further 1,176 Category C.

You may also want to watch:

A further three extreme pornographic images were discovered as well as 59 prohibited images of children.

The age range of the children in the images were from toddlers to teenagers, Ms Tucker told the court.

The court also heard that Down’s SHPO was imposed in January 2008 following a previous indecent images conviction.

Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday, Down pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children, one count of possessing extreme pornographic images, one offence of possessing prohibited images of childen, between March 18, 2017 and May 1, 2019. He also admitted breaching a SHPO.

Shade Abiodun, defending, told the court that there had been a gap in Down’s offending.

Judge David Goodin said Down had an “entrenched attraction to images of young children” but added: “Your offending in 2008 and 2017 shows a serious problem that needs addressing.”

Down was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, and a rehabilitation activity requirement of 60 sessions.

He must also undertake the Horizon programme for sex offenders and was made subject to an electronically monitored curfew from 7pm to 6am for 30 weeks.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star