Man found with 8,000 indecent child images feared catching Covid in prison
- Credit: Archant
A man who feared catching Covid in prison after a police raid found 8,000 indecent images of children on his computer has escaped a jail sentence.
Andrew Blundell, 62, was found to have downloaded the images over a three-year period, including 958 images in the most serious category, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Blundell, of Church Street, Wymondham, admitted downloading indecent images of children and possession of 49 prohibited images and three extreme porn images between July 2016 and August 29, 2019.
The court heard that Blundell had a previous conviction for possessing indecent images of children back in 2003, and had been jailed for six months.
Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, said there were in total more than 8,000 images although there was no suggestion that Blundell had distributed any of the hundreds of images he had downloaded.
Andrew Oliver, for Blundell, said that since his arrest, he had sought help and support.
He said there was a delay in the case coming to court and said: "He has put that time to good use and has been accessing help and support voluntarily."
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Mr Oliver said that Blundell dreaded being sent back to prison, especially with Covid being a risk.
He said that Blundell had suffered as a result of the conviction and had given up his job and his marriage had broken down.
"He's thoroughly appalled at what he has done."
Recorder Guy Ayers imposed a 16-month jail sentence, suspended for 21 months, and placed him on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.
He will also attend a sex offenders' treatment programme and do 80 hours unpaid work.
Recorder Ayers said: "Some years later your marriage was in difficulties and you turned to alcohol and have appeared to have gone back to your old ways of looking at indecent images of children on the internet."
He said he had considered immediate custody, but after hearing Blundell was getting help to stop him re-offending he decided to suspend the sentence.
Recorder Ayers told Blundell: "We must try to make sure that you never behave in this way again."