December 2008

Man confesses via 999 to child porn

A former orchestra conductor confessed to possessing more than 10,000 child pornography images and videos in a phone call to a 999 operator.

Shamed Wells resident Martin John Freke was urged to turn himself in after his family discovered his secret. He had asked the 999 operator “how can you be so nice to me?” as he confessed his crime.

The 61-year-old’s daughter stumbled upon files on the family computer on December 1 last year, labelled with names “that caused her concern,” Taunton Crown Court heard on Monday.

Freke was sentenced to eight months in prison, with his 73 days served in custody to be taken into account.

After being confronted by his family, Freke confessed his guilt in a 999 telephone call and was interviewed by police, who seized two computers from his home and one from his workplace, all of which contained illegal child-related materials.

He later gave up his conductor position at Mid Somerset Orchestra and director of music job at the University of the West of England.

The court heard that Freke possessed 10,261 images and 218 movies, classified from the least serious category 1 up to the more serious category 5.

Judge Graham Hume Jones said it was tragic to see a person with his background and intelligence standing in the dock.

Freke was also given a sex prevention offences order and forced to sign up to the sex offenders register for 10 years.