September 23 2014 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
A man who admitted arranging for a child to be present while a man carried out a sexual act on a web cam, has been jailed.
Michael Hudson-Thomas, 24, appeared at Norwich Crown Court today to be sentenced after previously admitting arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence.
Hudson-Thomas, of Goodwins Road, King’s Lynn, also admitted further offences of distributing indecent images of children, possessing indecent images of children and possessing extreme indecent images.
The court heard the defendant arranged for a child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to be present in a room where a web cam was set up while a man, who he suspected to be a paedophile, carried out a sexual act.
Sentencing Hudson-Thomas to a total of four years imprisonment with an extended licence period of five years for the offences, which happened between June and December last year, Judge Katharine Moore said the incident “marked a step up in the seriousness of your offending” from viewing material to using a vulnerable child victim.
She added: “You present a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm.”
Mark McDonald, mitigating, said there was no evidence “a child was ever approached, groomed or ever knew about therefore was not affected by what was going to take place”.
While Mr McDonald accepted the chat the defendant had on the internet was “explicit” and involved “dark discussion” he said it was “all the fantasy of a young man in his own bedroom and there’s no evidence at all that any other individual has been groomed, approached or indeed used in any way”.
In terms of the images, Mr McDonald said the defendant did not have a “library stock of indecent images” insisting the “amount is quite small all be it quite extreme”.
He added Hudson-Thomas had twice been sexually abused as a child, including one time when he was in local authority care by an older person who was also in care.
Hudson-Thomas was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) made up of a range of conditions including prohibited from having any device capable of storing images unless making it available inspection by police officer.
The SOPO remains in force until further order and will also remain on the Sex Offenders Register for an indefinite period.
Speaking after the case DC Mark Stratford, King’s Lynn CID, who led the investigation, said: “This is one of the worst cases I have ever seen with Hudson-Thomas using technology to distribute extremely pornographic images, some of which were at the highest end of the offence scale. This disturbing case is all the more serious when seen in the context of Michaels wider internet usage which saw the offender playing out his unacceptable fantasies online.”
He added: “We hope this case sends out a strong message to those intent on possessing and distributing such images. We should remember that behind every image there is a victim of abuse.”
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