BREAKING LONDON REDBRIDGE

A man has been jailed after he was found to have downloaded more than 200 indecent images of children – despite being subject to a suspended sentence for the same offence.

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Martin Sparks, 47 , of Maldon Walk, Redbridge, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday, 27 January to two years and four months’ imprisonment. He was also handed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely

He pleaded guilty at the same court on Friday, 26 June 2020 to five counts of breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), making indecent images of children (category A) and making indecent images of children (category B).

On Thursday, 18 June 2020, officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command executed a search warrant at Sparks’ home address following intelligence that indecent images of children had been downloaded at the address via peer-to-peer (p2p) software.

Sparks was convicted on 26 June 2018 for making indecent images of children. He received two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) until “further order” on this date.

When officers carried out the warrant on 18 June, Sparks initially denied any knowledge of illegal online activity, but when he was questioned further he admitted breaches of his SHPO and having downloaded and viewed child abuse images. Sparks committed five SHPO breaches.

During the search of his address, officers seized a computer tower, which Sparks used to download the illegal images – this related to three of the breaches. Officers also found an electronic tablet, which was a breach due to it not being declared to his Public Protection Unit manager.

The remaining breach was for connecting to the home’s router to use the internet when he downloaded the images.

Sparks was taken to an east London police station. When searched in custody, two USB digital storage devices were found in his shoes.

A total of 233 category A (the most serious) child abuse videos and 17 category B images were found on the USBs.

Sparks told detectives that when he heard officers enter the address, he went to hide the USBs and decided to put them in his shoes and put his shoes on.

Sparks admitted all the offences during his interview and he was charged on Friday, 19 June. He was convicted as above.

Detective Constable James Cavenham, the investigating officer, said: “Sparks is now behind bars after committing the same hideous offence once again. The evidence we gathered against him meant he had no option but to plead guilty.

“Although this is not a contact offence, every single image contains a child who is a victim of an appalling crime and when people like Sparks seek these images out, they continue to generate a market for this type of abuse.

“The Met will continue to relentlessly pursue and bring to justice those who download online images of child sexual abuse.”

Signposting: For information about how to keep young people safe online, go to safe.met.police.uk,