Red Lodge child pornography haul man sentenced
A Suffolk window cleaner has been spared prison after being caught in possession of nearly 79,000 indecent images of children at his Red Lodge home.
Michael Ransom claimed most of the images were already on computer memory sticks he had been given in a pub by a man called Steve five years before his arrest.
The 50-year-old pleaded guilty to nine charges when he appeared before Ipswich Crown Court.
Four of the charges related to possessing indecent photos of children on March 14 last year and one involved making indecent photos of children on the same date.
Two further accusations related to possessing prohibited images of children on or before March 14, while the remaining two involved possessing extreme pornography with a person performing an act with an animal.
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Prosecutor Sheilagh Davies told the court in 2011 it emerged that a legitimate UK website had been compromised and webpages had been uploaded selling dvds featuring child abuse.
The site was blocked and inquiries to discover who had accessed the pages linked Ransom to the site in June 2011.
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Miss Davies said in March last year police executed a search warrant at his then home in Red Lodge, near Mildenhall.
Ransom was arrested, and his computer and USB keys were seized.
A total of nearly 79,000 images were found on them, the court heard. Miss Davies said: 'Those images are largely at the lower end of the categories. There are just a couple at Level A.'
Child pornography images are graded Level A, B and C with Level A being the most serious.
The court heard Ransom, now of Vinefields, Bury St Edmunds said he had owned the computer for around a year and had been given the USB sticks by a man called Steve five years earlier.
However, Miss Davies said some of the images found on the memory sticks were put there within the five years before Ransom's arrest.
Jacqueline Hamilton, for Ransom, said: 'Since his arrest it is fair to say his life has been turned upside down.'
Judge John Devaux sentenced Ransom to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was made subject to a supervision requirement and must undertake an internet sex offenders' treatment programme.
Ransom was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years, given a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order, and told to pay £150 costs.