Hopton man sentenced for possessing thousands of indecent images of children

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

A 34-year-old man from Hopton has been sentenced after admitting possessing thousands of indecent images of children.

Gavin Hamilton, of Sea View Rise, Hopton, appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Friday, February 5 where he was sentenced to a three year community order, with a three year supervision order.

Hamilton had previously pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to five counts of making indecent images of children.

An operation by officers from Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies targeting internet paedophiles carried out a warrant at Hamilton's home address in April 2014.

A number of items were seized including a Dell laptop, a Samsung laptop and memory sticks. Following forensic examination they were found to contain thousands of indecent photographs and a number of indecent videos of children.

Hamilton was questioned and subsequently charged by officers on October 15, 2014.

DC David Cushway, 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.

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'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.'

Hamilton was also ordered to undertake an internet sex offender programme, placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for five years and given a five year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

An NSPCC spokesman said: 'Possessing child abuse images is a serious offence and we must never forget that children are being seriously assaulted when these pictures are produced.

'Viewing these appalling images creates a market for them, and children endure unspeakable and horrific abuse for these pictures to be taken.

'Offenders should get treatment while in prison to reduce the likelihood of harming more children in future.'

'For help and support children can contact ChildLine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk.'

Norfolk Constabulary set up the Safeguarding Children Online Team (SCOLT) in June 2014 in a bid to investigate on-line grooming and possession and distribution of illegal images.

The team aim to identify victims who are being or have been abused and work with agencies to put safeguarding measures in place.

The SCOLT executes its own warrants generated from intelligence, including referrals from Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) – part of the National Crime Agency (NCA) – information from other forces and members of the public.

For more information on the SCOLT visit Norfolk Constabulary's website at: www.norfolk.police.uk

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