Mildenhall man caught with child pornography spared prison after Aspergers diagnosis

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
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A Mildenhall man caught with child pornography has been spared prison after a judge was told he had been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.

When police with a warrant searched the home of Marc Dewing on April 24 they seized a computer and the 26 year old gave officers details of how access an online mailbox.

Ipswich Crown Court heard today (Thursday November 20) how when police searched the contents of that mailbox, hundreds of indecent images of children were discovered.

Dewing’s computer was also found to have been used to send 230 indecent images of children.

When interviewed Dewing, of Woodlands Way, Mildenhall, admitted that he had sole access to the mailbox in which images were being stored online.

Prosecuting, Michael Crimp said Dewing, who has no previous convictions, said that only a very small number of the images found fell into the most serious category.

Dewing had pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of a child, all committed between January 1 2010 and April 24 2014.

He also admitted to distributing indecent images of children between January 1 2010 and April 24 2014.

In mitigation, Lindsay Cox said: “I accept, of course, that this is a serious matter. What is unusual about this case is the diagnosis that has taken place subsequent to arrest.”

The court heard that when assessed for autism, Dewing had scored highly and had been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.

Mr Cox said: “He is making no excuses for his actions. He regards this period in his life as something very much in the past.”

Dewing’s family, including his wife who was in court, were standing by him and offering as much support as possible.

After reading a pre sentence report, a report from a psychologist and a letter from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation which is a registered child protection charity, Dewing was made the subject of a three year community order by Judge David Goodin.

While accepting the Aspergers diagnosis, Judge Goodin said any offences involving child pornography had to be treated seriously.

Judge Goodin told Dewing: “The evil lies in the fact that the demand creates the supply and causes the making of these ghastly films and photographs and therefore unimaginable misery to the true victims who are the children involved.”

Accessing child pornography often took on an “almost addictive nature” said Judge Goodin who said anyone with Aspergers Syndrome was more likely to be prone to addictive behaviour.

Judge Goodin said: “Everything I have read indicates that you have come to be genuinely appalled by what you have done.

“There is a very real prospect of rehabilitation if you take advantage of the sentence of the court today which is a community order.”

Dewing will remain under Probation Service supervision for three years while at the same time being required to participate in an Internet Sex Offender Treatment Programme and pay £250 prosecution costs.