A West Sussex man is starting a three-year prison sentence for offences relating to indecent images of children.
Ian Crockford, 47, a computer operator, of Graydon Avenue, Chichester, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday (20 April) having previously pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of indecent images of children, possessing extreme pornographic images and possession of a prohibited image.
He will be a registered sex offender for life and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last until further court order, severely restricting his access to children and computers, and was also placed on the Childrens' Barring List, preventing him from any work with children.
None of the images are believed to be of local children and there is no evidence of any contact offending.
The prosecution followed an intelligence-led investigation by detectives from the Sussex Police Paedophile Investigation Unit (POLIT).
Crockford was arrested at an address where he was then living in Charmandean Road, Worthing, in August 2018. and computer and related equipment was seized for examination. Officers found that Crockford had more than 3400 images.
POLIT Detective Sergeant Lou Hays said:"Our investigation showed that Crockford had been accessing child abuse images of the worst kind for at least ten years. Every image is in effect an abuse of individual children and a criminal offence in its own right."
Anyone with information or suspicions about someone accessing images of this kind can contact us at any time online or by calling 101, and can arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.
The sentencing comes as police forces across the South East join the independent charity The Lucy Faithfull Foundation in a campaign to increase awareness of ways in which people can find support to help them stop downloading and viewing such images – see more at the Sussex Police website here.
Author: Tim Mahony
NB Lou Hays is a female officer.
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