Balloon artist turned himself in after indecent images of children found
PUBLISHED: 16:30 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:06 20 July 2020
A professional balloon artist is facing a possible jail sentence after being caught with hundreds of indecent images of children.
Award winning balloon sculptor Samuel Stamp-Dod shopped himself to police after his then girlfriend discovered the images at the beginning of last year.
The 46-year-old appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday to admit three counts of making indecent images of children and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image on January 5, 2019.
Stamp-Dod, who runs VIP Balloons from his address in Hayhill Road, Ipswich, was told he could face custody when sentenced next month following the preparation of a report by the probation service.
The court heard Stamp-Dod reported to his local police station after his now ex-girlfriend made the discovery.
During a plea hearing on Friday, he admitted making 216 images of children in the most serious category of indecency, making 304 category B images, making 1,030 category C images and possession of an extreme pornographic image.
Rob Pollington, for Stamp-Dod, asked the court to take into account Stamp-Dod’s early admissions and prompt guilty plea when sentencing takes place in August.
The court heard Stamp-Dod’s relationship with his girlfriend had ended following the discovery.
Judge Emma Peters told him: “You have pleaded guilty to very serious charges. The charges are taken so seriously because these images depict the abuse of children.”
Judge Peters told Stamp-Dod to co-operate fully with the probation service during the preparation of a pre-sentence report.
She warned that all options, including custody, would be open to the sentencing judge.
Stamp-Dod was ordered to begin signing the sex offenders’ register from the day of his conviction.
Mr Pollington said his client was fully aware of the obligations he must comply with following his conviction as a sex offender.
A sentencing hearing is due to take place at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, August 21.
Stamp-Dod is the former chairman of the Ipswich & Suffolk Small Business Association (ISSBA).
On the VIP balloons website, he describes himself as having been a professional balloon artist since 2001.
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