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Woodford paedophile avoided jail then downloaded child abuse images

Martin Sparks will be sentenced in August

A paedophile from Woodford has pleaded guilty to downloading 250 indecent videos of children, despite being subject to a suspended jail sentence for the same offence.

Martin Sparks admitted to five counts of breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), making indecent images of children (category A) and making indecent images of children (category B). at Snaresbrook Crown Court of Friday, 26 June – exactly two years after he was convicted of making indecent images of kids.

The 47-year-old, of Maldon Walk, was handed a suspended two year sentence for the offences in 2018, as well as being made the subject of an SHPO.

On Thursday, 18 June 2020, officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command executed a search warrant at Sparks’ home address following intelligence that indecent images of children had been downloaded at the address.

Sparks initially denied initially denied any knowledge of illegal online activity.

However, when he was questioned further, he admitted fives breaches of his SHPO and having downloaded and viewed child abuse images.

During the search of his address, officers seized a computer tower, which Sparks used to download the illegal images; this related to three of the breaches.

Officers also found an electronic tablet, which was a breach due to it not being declared to his Public Protection Unit manager.

The remaining breach was for connecting to the home’s router to use the internet when he downloaded the images.

When Sparks was taken into custody, two USB digital storage devices were found in his shoes.

A total of 233 category A child abuse videos and 17 category B ones were found on the USBs.

Sparks told officers that when he heard officers enter the address, he went to hide the USBs and decided to put them in his shoes and put his shoes on.

Sparks admitted all the offences during his interview and he was charged on Friday, 19 June.

He will be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday, 26 August.

Detective Constable James Cavenham, the investigating officer, said: “Sparks is now facing time behind bars after committing the same hideous offence once again. The evidence we gathered against him meant he had no option but to plead guilty.

“Although this is not a contact offence, every single image contains a child who is a victim of an appalling crime and when people like Sparks seek these images out, they continue to generate a market for this type of abuse. 

“The Met will continue to relentlessly pursue and bring to justice those who download online images of child sexual abuse.”

For information about how to keep young people safe online, go to safe.met.police.uk, www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre or www.thinkuknow.co.uk.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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