Man downloaded more than 35,000 indecent child images over four year period, court told

PUBLISHED: 12:34 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:16 21 February 2020

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A man was said to have found it almost as a relief when caught by police for downloading more than 35,000 indecent images of children.

Matthew Cresswell, 36, was also found with a small amount of cannabis when police searched his address in Linacre Avenue, in Sprowston, in November 2018, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said that out of the thousands of images there were 8,601 in the most serious category as well as 49 extreme porn images and 156 prohibited images of children.

He said that Cresswell made full admissions on his arrest.

Cresswell admitted making indecent images of a child between December 27, 2014 and November 20, 2018.

He also admitted possessing extreme pornographic images and possession of cannabis and supplying cannabis.

Matthew McNiff, for Cresswell, said that it was almost a relief when he was caught as he was troubled by what he had done.

"It almost came as a relief as it was something that was troubling him and it was brought to an end. He had to face up to it."

He said that he was now beginning to rebuild his life.

"He has already taken quite large steps towards his rehabilitation."

Mr McNiff said there was a delay in the case coming to court through no fault of the defendant but this had added to his anxiety.

Mr McNiff said he was at a low risk of re-offending.

He said that Cresswell had suffered from a family bereavement and had mental health issues and said: "He does not want to use this as an excuse but it does offer an explanation as to why he descended into this dark place."

He said the cannabis found was for his own use and he admitted he supplied cannabis to a small circle of friends, but for no profit.

Recorder Guy Ayers imposed a an eight month sentence suspended for two years.

He also placed Cresswell on the sex offender's register for 10 years and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order which will monitor his internet use.

Recorder Ayers told him that there were a significant number of indecent images and that real children had to be abused to make the images: "This is not a victimless crime in any shape or form."

He also ordered Cresswell to do 140 hours unpaid work.

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