Thetford man 'excited' by danger of viewing illegal abuse images on dark web
A man from Thetford viewed indecent child abuse images on the dark web as he found it "exciting", a court heard.
Matthew Norman, of Station Road, was found to have dozens of indecent images on his computer after his home was searched by police.
Norwich Magistrates' Court heard that the 30-year-old repeatedly visited a particular site on the dark web up to four times a day for a year.
Despite this, Norman told police he did not have a sexual interest in children, and was instead visiting the site as he found the danger of it “exciting”.
Prosecutor Josephine Jones told the court on Friday (April 26) that police searched Norman's home after his IP address was found to have accessed the dark web.
The dark web is a collection of websites on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or browsers.
Miss Jones said when officers examined his computer they found 50 indecent images, including 13 'category A' photographs.
Norman provided police with passwords to his computer and initially said when he came across such images online he would stop and close the website.
Miss Jones said: “When asked why he repeatedly returned to the website, he said he did so because of the shock factor knowing it was illegal or wrong. He said he was excited by the danger of being on the website.
“He denied downloading images and denied having a sexual interest in children.”
The court heard how Norman also accessed chat rooms on the dark web where there were conversations around child abuse.
Norman pleaded guilty to making 13 indecent category A images of a child, 10 category B images of a child and 27 category C images of a child.
All of the offences were said to have occurred on or before January 5, 2017.
The court heard how Norman, who is married, had no previous convictions or cautions.
Orla Daly, mitigating, asked magistrates for a pre-sentence report.
Norman will return to Norwich Magistrates' Court for sentencing on May 30.
He must not have any unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16 unless permission is granted by a parent or guardian.