Four years in prison for man found with almost 30,000 indecent images of children and animals

Norwich Crown Court

Norwich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A man who had almost 30,000 indecent images of children and animals on his laptop has been jailed for four years.

Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday how 62-year-old Steven Dippenaar was caught after police seized his computer equipment in September last year.

They found more than 18,529 indecent pictures of children and 10,857 extreme pornographic images that included sex acts on various animals.

Dippenaar, who pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him, also admitted to breaching a sexual offences prevention order in 2015.

Prosecutor Andrew Oliver said the defendant was arrested after neighbours grew increasingly concerned about his behaviour.

The court heard how Dippenaar had started to make regular contact with a girl under the age of eight in June last year.

Mr Oliver said the girl would visit the defendant's home on Kent Square, Great Yarmouth, unaccompanied after he gained the trust of her parents.

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Neighbours begun to take notice and police were eventually notified.

Mr Oliver added: 'When he [Dippenaar] was arrested, he said 'my life is over, there is enough on that 'laptop' to put me in prison'.

At the time he had been subject to a sexual offences prevention order imposed by a court in Aberdeen and was not allowed any contact with children under the age of 16.

Mitigating Michael Clare said the defendant had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

The court heard that Dippenaar had 42 convictions for 200 offences dating back to 1969.

Judge Anthony Bate said the defendant developed a 'worrying trend' of offending against young children in 1995.

He was sentenced to four years for breaching a sexual offences prevention order between June 2014 and September 2015, possessing extreme pornographic images, possessing a prohibited image of a child, and two counts of making an indecent images of children.

Investigating officer, Det Con Daine Hubbard, said: 'A child is victimised not only when they are abused and an image is taken, but every time that image is viewed by someone.

'We hope such a case sends a strong message out to such offenders that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images or grooming children. They leave a digital footprint and we will find it.'