June 2012

Pervert who took indecent photos of girl spared jail

A pervert encouraged a young girl to pose for indecent pictures and secretly filmed her, a court was told.

Martin Spence, 61, was spared a jail sentence after he filmed the girl undressing and planted a covert camera when she was as young as 11, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

Judge Jonathan Haworth, giving Spence, of Wentworth Road, Coveney, near Ely, a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years, said it would be better if he was treated rather than locked up without help.

The court heard Spence faced a minimum sentence of six years for causing a child to be involved in pornography

But Judge Haworth, using different sentencing guidelines, said: “That seems out of all proportion to what happened in this case.”

The judge added Spence’s family stood to lose their home if he was jailed.

Spence, a smallholder and lorry driver, admitted two offences of causing a child to be involved in pornography, possessing indecent pictures of a child and making indecent images of a child.

The girl was aged between about 11 and 14 when the offences were committed.

Sara Walker, prosecuting, said Spence was arrested after a witness took a video found at his home to Ely police.

His home was searched and lower level indecent images of children were found.

There were also CDs of a girl removing her clothing and footage of a naturist holiday camp which included children.

Ms Walker said there were images of the girl removing her clothes and also of her being secretly filmed.

Nicola May, mitigating, said: “There was no financial motive or gain.  There is no suggestion any of the photographs were distributed.”

She said no physical force or threats had been involved in taking the pictures, which then stopped completely.

Miss May added: “He has not sought to minimise his role.

“He has struggled to comprehend the motives for his behaviour.”

As well as the suspended sentence, Spence must undertake a sex offender programme, pay £400 costs and he was put on the sex offender register.