June 2020

Woodford Green man pleads guilty to sex offences

A Woodford Green man has pleaded guilty after he was found to have downloaded more than 200 indecent images of children and hiding a USB in his shoe, despite being subject to a suspended sentence for the same offence

Martin Sparks, 47, of Maldon Walk, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, June 26 and admitted five charges of breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and making indecent images of children.

He had been convicted on June 26, 2018 of making indecent images of children and was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years, and an SHPO until “further order”.

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

During the search officers seized a computer tower, which Sparks used to download the illegal images – this related to three of the breaches.

After Sparks was searched in custody, police found two USB storage devices in his shoes.

The USBs contained a total of 250 videos of child abuse.

There were 233 category A child abuse videos – which are “images involving penetrative sexual activity” – and 17 category B videos of “non-penetrative sexual activity”.

Officers also found an electronic tablet, which was a breach because it wasn’t declared following the 2018 SHPO.

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

Sparks admitted all the offences during his interview and was charged on Friday, June 19.

Sparks will be sentenced on Wednesday, August 26 at Snaresbrook Crown Court.