A man found with dozens of hours of harrowing footage depicting the sexual abuse of young children has been jailed thanks to the hard work of specialist officers dedicated to catching online offenders.
We received intelligence that the internet connection at 29-year-old Alex Wood’s address in Milwards, Harlow, had been used to access indecent images of children.
Specialist officers with our Online Investigation Team executed a warrant at this address on 5 February 2022, seizing four devices.
One of the devices was found to contain a catalogue of footage showing young children being sexually abused.
Specialist officers worked to categorise the footage, finding more than 1,200 moving images and 16 still images at the highest Category A.
Also found were 792 moving and 27 still images at Category B, alongside 268 moving and 56 still images at Category C.
One Category A video involved the abuse of a baby aged between two and three months.
Overall, officers graded and categorised more than 100 hours of footage. Wood was charged with and later admitted three counts of making indecent images of children.
Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentence on Thursday 25 May, he was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment.
He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years and will be the subject of a ten-year sexual harm prevention order monitoring his use of devices.
Behind each image is a real victim
Detective Sergeant Samantha Lewin, of the Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT), said:
“Alex Wood had a truly sickening catalogue of child abuse images, images which depict, graphically, sexual harm of the worst kind being visited upon innocent young children. “This collection included more than 1,200 moving images at the most serious Category A. “Behind each of those pictures was a victim, abused for the depraved sexual satisfaction of paedophiles like Wood. “The possession and downloading of indecent images is never a victimless crime. “It might be easy for criminals like Wood to distance themselves from the irreparable harm caused to the victims depicted in such images. “But this sentence shows the courts, and indeed any right-minded member of the public, will take a far different view. “This conviction was secured thanks to the work of POLIT, a team of specialist police officers and support staff who work tirelessly and forensically to detect those accessing indecent images of children in Essex.”
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