March 2015

Pervert (42) posed as young girl on Twitter to access child sex abuse images

Using Twitter, a 42 year old Cheltenham man pretended to be a young abused girl so that he could access child sex abuse images, a court heard today.

Martin Andrews, of St Albans Close, Warden Hill, Cheltenham, was detected by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and police raided his home on 21st August last year, Gloucester crown court was told.

On his two laptop computers and storage discs police found 80 child sexual abuse videos – some of them at the worst Category A level, depicting pre-pubescent children being abused, said prosecutor Julian Kesner.

Andrews admitted seven charges of possessing the images and was given a three year supervision order by Judge Jamie Tabor QC who told him he had helped fuel the abuse of young children.

Telling Andrews to look at the written description of one of the videos in which a 5 year old girl was abused the judge said “If you were walking past a window and saw a grown up doing that to a five year old girl I hope you would have informed the police and that you would have stepped straight in and punched that person on the nose.

“I suspect you would have done but because it is on the internet there is this false idea that it is not really happening. It is. That five year old little girl was being brutally treated by some wretched man and the reason he was doing it was because people like you want to look at it and there is a market for it.

“That little child will be scarred for life, as will every other little child you were looking at images of.”

The judge ordered Andrews to attend 35 sessions of an internet sexual offender programme and he fined him £1,000. He told him he would have to sign the sex offender register for five years – and he made a sexual offences prevention order.

Mr Kesner had told the court “He was on Twitter using a false profile, pretending to be an abused child. He was communicating with many people who wanted to communicate with this supposed child.

“It is the first time I have come across Twitter being used in this way.”

Mr Kesner went through descriptions of what was seen on each of the videos referred to in the charges. They involved children, usually girls, aged from 5 to 13/14.

Judge Tabor observed that when arrested Andrews was ‘remarkably frank’ about what he had been doing and admitted that he got sexual excitement from seeing the videos.

Defence solicitor Emily Evans said he had ‘led a life of solitude’ and had not had a girlfriend for at least ten years.

His problems had begun with the death of his mother 20 years ago, after which he had lived with his stepfather until he left ten years ago, leaving him with the mortgage to pay, she said.

Andrews had worked in the engineering and catering industries but had lost his latest job because of the offences, she added.

He had confided in an uncle about his arrest and his current situation and that relative had accompanied him to court, said Ms Evans.