Curiosity over internet child sexual abuse images earns Sherston father a criminal conviction

A father who claimed curiosity and stupidity led him to search for child sexual abuse images on the internet has been made the subject of a two-year supervision order.

Martin Waite, 35, of Green Lane, Sherston, admitted seven charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing a total of 657 indecent photographs of children.

On Friday Chippenham magistrates heard he was arrested on May 6 last year on a different allegation, which was not pursued.

But his Dell computer was seized and forensically examined. Investigators found the level one and two images in temporary internet files. They showed naked or partially clothed pre-teen girls from seven to 11.

Child porn images are graded one to five, with one being the least serious.

They also discovered he had searched using the terms “young girls,” “child porn,” “young porn” and “young models.”

Liz Gwinnell, for Waite, who has a baby daughter, said he was sorry for what he had done. “He considers what he did to be extremely stupid.”

“At the time he was looking for adult images, but accepts that he went further.”

Asking the bench to treat him as someone of previous good character she explained that although he had previous convictions for public order and criminal damage, they dated back to 1997 and were very different to the offence for which he was now in court.

She said he had lost his job. He had agreed to give it up because publicity surrounding the case could have had an impact on the business and was now unemployed.

After reading a pre-sentence report the magistrates imposed a 24-month supervision order and instructed Waite to attend an internet sex offenders programme.

He was also ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs.

He will remain on the sex offenders register for the next five years.