Man caught with 273 images of children

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A STOWMARKET man was caught with indecent images of children after his girlfriend reported him to the police.

The woman had found the images on a laptop computer owned by train driver David Lowe. On Thursday Lowe, 38, of Kingfisher Way, Stowmarket, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court. He pleaded guilty to two offences of making indecent images of children.

Prosecutor Robert Sadd told the court that when police examined the laptop and a memory stick they discovered 273 indecent images and movies involving children aged between nine and 13.

The majority were categorised at the lower end of the scale of seriousness, said Mr Sadd.

In mitigation, Steven Dyble said that Lowe, who had no previous convictions, had expressed his regret for what he had done.

Sentencing, Judge Rupert Overbury told Lowe that while the images had been for his own gratification, he accepted that Lowe had never made any approaches to children himself.

Judge Overbury said that while the offences clearly crossed the threshold at which a prison term was justified, he believed that providing treatment for Lowe would be more in the public interest.

Lowe was made the subject of a three-year community order, ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work and remain under Probation Service supervision for three years. In addition, Lowe will have to participate in a 70-hour Changing Offenders Behaviour programme for sexual offenders. Lowe was ordered to sign on the sexual offences register for five years.