Court hears of police raid on Fenland house where man, 50, was in possession of 5,000 indecent images of children

Martin Ward of Deerfield Road, March, has been sentenced by a court after he was found to have a col

Martin Ward of Deerfield Road, March, has been sentenced by a court after he was found to have a collection of more than 5,000 indecent images of children. Picture; GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

A man who waited more than a year to come to court after being found with thousands of indecent images of children was handed a suspended sentence.

Police swooped on the house in Deerfield Road, March, on July 7 last year. They had a warrant to search the home of Martin Ward.

He had been traced by police after being linked to an internet portal (IP) address. Police were able to clarify that he was using a computer to upload indecent images of children to the internet.

Ward, 50, was caught in possession of more than 5,000 indecent images of children and was additionally given a sexual harm prevention order.

Det Con Gareth Purdy, who investigated, said: "Ward stored a large number of indecent images representing vile abuse of innocent young people.

"Tackling both the creation and possession of such images is a priority for the force and we are committed to bringing those involved in this type of criminality before the courts."

Officers carried out a warrant at his home in Deerfield Road, March where they seized a number of electronic devices.

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Analysis of the devices revealed 5,288 indecent images and three videos. Of the images found, 3,445 were classed as category A - the most severe.

During a voluntary interview at March Police Station, Ward admitted to holding indecent images of children across multiple devices.

On October 4 at Peterborough Crown Court, he was sentenced to ten months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order lasting ten years for making indecent photographs of children, possessing extreme pornographic images of an animal and possession of prohibited images of a child.

Anyone who has concerns about child abuse should contact Cambridgeshire Constabulary on 101, Children's Social Care or the NSPCC.

Announcing the verdict on their Facebook page, Cambridgeshire Police was bombarded with messages congratulating them on their success but dismissive of the sentence.

"Great they got him but 10 months prison suspended?" wrote one. "Way too lenient given what he possessed. Where's the deterrent to others?"

Another wrote: "Good news indeed but I feel the sentence should be much more severe."

And a third felt the courts should simply "lock him up and throw away the key."

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