July 2019

Paedophile ‘deliberately accessed’ indecent images over five months

An unemployed computer programmer who downloaded indecent movies and stills of children was spared jail because he had pleaded guilty.

Rod Marsh, 52, Roseberry Court, Watford, was told by Judge Caroline Wigin that he would have gone straight to prison had he not admitted looking at the abuse images.

Prosecutor Paul Douglass said officers raided his home after the police child online safeguarding team received information that a computer at Marsh’s home was being used to access indecent images via file sharing software.

When the officers arrived early on September 19, 2017, they asked if there was anything he wanted to say. Marsh replied: “Well, there might be something on there” and pointed to a computer tower.

When the tower and a hard drive were analysed, the police found seven stills and three videos at Category A – the most serious level. They showed girls aged between 6 and 11 engaging in sexual activity with adults.

In addition there were 18 stills and two videos at Category B and 628 stills and 18 movies at Category C, the least serious level.

When questioned by the police, Marsh said he had viewed the images for four to five months. He said: “It was sort of accidental and then became a habit. It was weird.”

Initially he said he had used the file sharing programme to download folk music. He said he got a big adrenalin rush and did it again and deleted it, said Mr Douglass.

Marsh appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to three charges of making (downloading) indecent images. He was of previous good character.

Defending, Angela Kerner said there were a small number of Category A, the most serious images. She said he was now looking for work.

Judge Caroline Wigin told Marsh: “To get to your age with no convictions and come to court is something you must be regretting very much indeed.

“You did not stop looking at the images and went on to deliberately access them over five months.

“The Category A movies involved real children aged 6 to 11 being subjected to most appalling acts.

“You need to understand these acts cause real pain to the children involved.”

She sentenced him to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months with 40 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement.

He must carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work and pay £200 costs.

In addition, Marsh must abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

As he left the court Marsh said: “Thank you your honour.”