November 2017

Benfleet man among four sentenced as part of continued crackdown on online child abuse imagery

FOUR people have been sentenced for downloading indecent images of children as part of a continued crackdown by Essex Police.

In November last year, using an intelligence-led approach, a dedicated team of specialist officers have targeted those involved in the downloading taking and distribution of indecent images of children.

The team, working alongside and in support of Essex Police’s existing specialist Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (CAIT), executed 44 warrants and arrested 43 people.

Gary Shortell was found with nearly 6,000 indecent images of children has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

Acting on intelligence officers executed a warrant at the home of 45-year-old Gary Shortell in Asquith Gardens, Benfleet on February 22 this year.

They searched the home and seized various equipment including a laptop, memory and USB sticks and SD cards.

In total the equipment was found to contain:

  • 120 Category A movies and photographs (Category A is the most serious category of abuse imagery)

  • 266 Category B movies and photographs

  • 5,563 Category C movies and photographs

  • 1 extreme pornographic film (animal porn)

Shortell admitted three counts of making indecent images of children when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Friday October 13.

He was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years, given a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and was ordered to pay £250 costs and a £140 victim surcharge.