Martin Benson – Hoddesdon
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Hoddesdon paedophile downloaded indecent images
A paedophile from Hoddesdon has avoided jail after pleading guilty to accessing almost 200 indecent images of children.
Martin Benson, of Plomer Avenue, was found with 24 ‘Category A’ images, which are amongst the most serious.
Some of those described to court included depicting penetrative sexual acts on young children.
Benson was sentenced at a hearing at St Albans Crown Court
He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.
In a police interview, he claimed that he was in ‘a bad place’ while struggling with multiple sclerosis.
The three counts related to 24 Category A images, 39 Category B images and 130 Category C images, that had been downloaded between November 18, 2018 and September 18, 2019.
The court heard that Benson was arrested on September 19, 2019 after police were granted a search warrant, with the illegal material found on his mobile phone.
Prosecuting, Michael Speak from the CPS said: “When the defendant was interviewed he originally made no comment, then he changed that position and gave a second interview.
“He said he had been in a bad place because of his multiple sclerosis.”
Mr Speak added that Benson told police, “he was disgusted with himself”.
Benson had been accessing adult material, but then started to access images of younger girls and downloaded the illegal material.
In his sentencing, Judge Foster said: “You are disgusted with yourself and so you should be.
“You should realise these are real people, the people you see on screen and not make believe people.
“They are real people who suffer. They suffer because people like you create a market for it.”
The judge continued: “The people being abused for the filming are vulnerable people who are often from the poorest parts of the world.
“You are rightly ashamed of yourself.”
The judge said that downloading the images of penetrative sexual activity could have led to an immediate prison sentence, however he decided against.
Judge Foster said that Benson has self-referred himself for further help, and was showing “clear remorse” for his actions.
He added: “In light of the guilty plea, the delay [since arrest], and what you have done to sort yourself out, I can reduce that to a suspended sentence”.
He was given an eight-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Benson will also be given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years, and will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
He will also be required to undertake 30 days of rehabilitation activity as part of the sentence, and 200 hours of unpaid work within 18 months.
His mobile phone will also be confiscated and destroyed.