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Man found with indecent images of children despite attempts to delete them, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:01 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:01 27 April 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A man was found with indecent images of children despite his attempts to delete them to try to avoid detection, a court heard.

David Thornley, 65, became aware that police might investigate him over downloading child images but despite his efforts to delete them before his computer devices were seized, Norfolk police still managed to recover a small number of images, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Richard Potts, prosecuting via a video link from Ipswich Crown Court, said police were also still able to establish he had made searches for “pre-teen” material and among the images recovered included ones in the most serious category, featuring children as young as three.

Thornley, of Wymondham Road, East Carleton, admitted possessing indecent images of children and was given a two year community order so he can get help with his behaviour.

Judge Maureen Bacon told him that he had been “made aware” police might be investigating him for uploading images and said: “You had the opportunity and took it to destroy those images.”

However she said a small number of images were recovered by police which she said showed he had an “unnatural interest in children of tender years.”

She said that real children had to be abused and sexually exploited for the images to be made and told him: “Whatever your motivation, there is no excuse for it, as you have found out despite your best endeavours.”

She said the number of images involved were not vast and said he had the sense to plead guilty to the charges.

Judge Bacon said that by placing him on a community order he would get one-to-one help to challenge his behaviour: “It is going to be tough.”

Judge Bacon also placed him on the sex offender’s register for five years and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order, under which his internet use will be regulated.

She also ordered him to pay £1000 towards prosecution costs.

She told him: “It is now up to you.”

John Morgans, for Thornley, said he was retired and was of previous good character: “He has worked all his life. He is thoroughly ashamed to have committed the offences.”

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