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Hornchurch father spared jail for child porn offences

PUBLISHED: 12:11 27 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:11 27 April 2015

Snaresbrook Crown Court Pic: John Stillwell/PA

Snaresbrook Crown Court Pic: John Stillwell/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A father-of-two was spared jail after being caught with hundreds of indecent photographs of children on his laptop.

Nathan Clarke, 33, or Northumberland Avenue, Hornchurch, had his computer seized in December after his internet searches prompted police suspicion.

Computer analysts found a total of 751 images of child abuse, 67 of which fell into the most serious category, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard on Friday.

Clarke, who pleaded guilty to 15 counts of making an indecent photo of a child, told the court he had been receiving therapy for his obsession even before he was arrested.

Gavin Holm, mitigating for Clarke, said: “He has no previous convictions, he’s demonstrated remorse and he’s made efforts to address his problems, he’s been receiving counselling since November 2014 and he’s taken great steps to deal with the issues that led him to an extremely dark place.”

Mr Holm added that Clarke was separated from his children by the terms of his bail.

“Of course this has affected his marriage, but they have decided to live together as a family,” he said.

“Social services became involved by the family were given the all clear in late December.”

Clarke was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months and will be on the sex offender register for 10 years.

Sentencing, Judge Neil Peters, said: “That you would want to download and look at images of very young children in sexual positions, and some of actual sex with men is beyond belief.

“However, you never shared any of these images, they were for your own use and they were all made by downloading, there’s no suggestion that they were offered or shown to other people.

“You’ve made important steps to try and rid yourself of the desire to look at this type of terrible material.”

Clarke was also given a 12 month supervision order, a sexual offending specified activity requirement for 60 days, a sexual community prevention order for 10 years and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and £510 in prosecution costs.

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