A Hethersett pensioner who downloaded more than 600 indecent images of children fled to the Philippines for nearly a year-and-a-half before finally being arrested when he returned to Britain, a court heard.

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Colin Harvey, 65, was found with the images when police raided his address in Great Melton Road, Hethersett, in August, 2010, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Kevin Eastwick, prosecuting, said there was a total of 656 images but most had been deleted from his computer equipment.

However, after being bailed he failed to turn up as requested in June 2011.

“He spent most of that time in the Philippines and when he returned in November 2012 he was charged with the offences,” said Mr Eastwick.

He said Harvey pleaded guilty to making and possessing indecent images of children and had been in custody since his court appearance on November 23 last year.

Ian James, for Harvey, said he had deleted the images. “They were not retained for continuing use.”

Sentencing him, Judge Mark Lucraft told Harvey: “From June 2011 till November last year, you were at large and appear to have spent most of that time in the Philippines.”

He gave Harvey an eight-month sentence suspended for two years, ordered him to attend an internet sex offenders programme and placed him on 24 months supervision.

He also made Harvey subject to a sexual offences prevention order which monitors his use of the internet and placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

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