October 2018

Flintshire OAP had vast number of images

FORMER Ministry of Defence telecoms technician David Marsden was in denial over his motivation for downloading images of child sexual abuse images, a court was told.

Marsden, 72, of St Peter’s Park in Northop, had no previous convictions but police acting on intelligence found thousands of images on his computers.

He admitted making by downloading more than 6,500 images but a vast number others found – said to be more than 60,000 – had not been categorised.

While he denied having a sexual interest in children he had pleaded guilty to making the images and work could be done with him if he received a suspended sentence, his barrister Simon Mintz told Mold Crown Court.

Marsden, an accomplished musician who plays French horn in Cheshire orchestras and who also teaches advance riding skills to bikers, admitted that between May 1999 and July this year he made 25 images at the most serious category A, 107 at category B and more than 6,400 at category C.

Judge Niclas Parry placed him on the sex register for 10 years and made a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

A 14 month prison sentence was suspended for 18 months and he was placed on rehabilitation “so his offending could be addressed”.

The court heard Marsden had worked for the MOD at Sealand for 30 years and took early retirement at the age of 54.

He was divorced, may have become socially isolated and regularly holidayed in Greece where he was in the process of building himself a home.

But Mr Mintz said plans to move there would have to be put on hold until his rehabilitation had been completed.

Judge Parry said Marsden had cleverly tried to philosophise about nudity and clearly did not realise the gravity of what he had done, which increased the market for images of children being abused.

Among them were images including movies of the most serious category. There were children as young as five.

But Judge Parry said Marsden had led a blameless life and had admitted what he had done.

“The public will be better served by you being given rehabilitation rather than you being released after a relatively short sentence without any work being done with you,” the judge told him.

Barrister Ember-Jade Wong, prosecuting, said a large number of other material had been discovered but had not been analysed.

She said research terms used indicated an interest in the sexual abuse of children.

The search history showed he had visited websites which contained such material.

Interviewed in August he accepted downloading the material but denied having a sexual interest in children.

Judge Parry said if Marsden left the country while still on the suspended prison sentence, then he would be arrested and brought back.