Hundreds of indecent images of children found on Northampton man's computers, court hears

Stephen Edwards was sentenced in Northampton Crown Court yesterday.
Stephen Edwards was sentenced in Northampton Crown Court yesterday.

A man who shared hundreds of pornographic images of children and young people online while living in Northampton claimed he "didn't know why he did it".

Stephen Edwards, 61, from Cambridgeshire, was sentenced in Northampton Crown Court yesterday (July 4) for making and distributing indecent images, which he also has a previous conviction for.

Over 700 pornographic or indecent images were found across his computers and devices when he was arrested, with 85 of them classed as Category A - the most severe grading possible.

Another 20,000 images and files that could not be accessed or viewed were also treated as "borderline" by police.

His Honour Judge Timothy Fowler said: "Your previous conviction did not have the effect of stopping you from accessing the internet to view and distribute these images.

"The time has come for you to go to prison."

In 2016, Northamptonshire Police executed a child protection warrant and seized several devices and memory sticks from Edwards' address in Lindsay Avenue, Northampton.

The court heard how, when he was arrested, Edwards told officers: "There's nothing on there, I've deleted it all."

However, police not only found over 700 indecent images across Edwards' devices, but also that he was distributing them online through the file sharing website eMule.

None of the children or young people in the images were known to Edwards, the court heard.

Edwards pleaded guilty to the charges in Northampton Magistrates' Court in May 2017.

He claimed he got "no gratification" from the images and "didn't know why he did it", prosecuting barrister James Armstrong-Holmes told the court.

In sentencing, Judge Fowler said: "There have been consequences from your offending that have affected your personal life. You have brought that on yourself."

Edwards was sentenced to two years and his devices were ordered to be destroyed. A sexual harm prevention order was also made.