October 2017

Cambridge music teacher caught with sex abuse images of children as young as 18 months walks free from court

A music tutor who admitted possessing hundreds of indecent images of children has avoided being sent to prison.

Michael Denman, of Union Lane, Cambridge, had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images, totalling 329.

Police executed a warrant at the 28-year-old’s address on February 15 this year. They seized a number of items, including a Dell laptop and a hard drive computer tower.

At Denman’s sentencing hearing at Cambridge Crown Court today (October 19) Jean-Jack Chalmers, prosecuting, said: “Each device contained indecent sexual abuse images of children.

“The majority of the images were girls aged three to ten. The youngest is as young as 18 months old.”

Indecent images of children are graded A to C, with A being the most severe.

The images found on Denman’s devices included 103 category A images, one of which was a video, 75 category B images and 151 category C images.

The prosecution said the aggravating factors in Denman’s case were the age of the children depicted and that some of the images of the children showed distress.

Sentencing, Judge Sean Enright said: “You have pleaded guilty to three counts. The guilty pleas were entered at the earliest stage on a written basis.

“In your interview you gave a full account and entered your guilty plea at the first opportunity.

“You have no previous convictions. You’re not in my view a person with an interest in young children. The risk of offending again in my view is very slim.”

Judge Enright gave him a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years and 140 hours of unpaid work.

Denman was ordered to pay a victim surcharge and will have to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years.