Man given caution for child sex offence caught dowloading images months later

Norwich Crown Court.

Leon Thompson has been sentenced at Norwich Crown Court after admitting indecent images offences. - Credit: Archant

A man who had already received a caution for a child sex offence was caught downloading indecent images less than six months later, a court has heard.

Leon Thompson, 32, was a registered sex offender after previously being cautioned in July 2020 for engaging in sexual activity with a child.

Norwich Crown Court heard that just four months later, police became aware of Thompson having uploaded an indecent image to Instagram.

David Ryan, prosecuting, said police called at Thompson's then address in Wisbech on November 26 2020, and seized a number of devices.

Thompson was found to have five category A images - the most serious - as well as six that were category B images and 36 that were category C. He was also found to have a prohibited video.

Thompson, of Queens Road, Southend, appeared at court for sentencing on Wednesday (December 22) having previously admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing a prohibited photo.

Lucy Sweetland, mitigating, said it was a "relatively small number of images" and not part of "entrenched" behaviour.

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She said the fact he uploaded an image to Instagram demonstrates a "lack of sophistication" and was somewhat "naive".

Thompson was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months by Recorder Guy Ayers who said that every indecent image required a child to be abused.

He said: "There's a victim to each and every image that people download."

But Recorder Ayers accepted the number of images downloaded was "relatively low" and was persuaded the best way to protect the public and children was to impose a sentence which ensured he was given the support and guidance to prevent him offending in this way in future.

He was also ordered to undertake 10 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) and must also spend 35 days on an accredited programme 

Thompson was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for the next 10 years.

He must also sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years.