Former Greenpeace fund-raiser downloaded and distributed indecent images of children

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A disgraced former Greenpeace fund-raiser lost his job, his home, and friends after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children.

Matthew Payne, 49, was discovered to have downloaded more than 2000 images on two devices including his phone, when police raided his address after a tip-off he downloaded an unlawful image from Facebook, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said some of the images were in the most serious category, with one image featuring a child as young as two.

Payne, formerly of Bungay, pleaded guilty to an 11-count indictment in which he admitted downloading and distributing indecent images of children and possessing extreme porn.

Damien Moore, for Payne, said he had lost a great deal as a result of his conviction.

"He has lost friends. He has lost his accommodation following his arrest. He has lost his good character and he has lost being in gainful employment since the police arrested him. He has lost a considerable amount."

He added: "He may never get back to where he was. He will have this stain on his character going forward,"

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He said prior to his arrest, Payne worked as a fund-raiser for Greenpace: "It is very unlikely he will be able to find this sort of work in the future."

He said that since his arrest he had sought help and showed genuine remorse.

Judge Maureen Bacon said the most serious aspect was the distribution of the 24 images and said: "These were real children whose lives have been blighted for evermore by abuse. You and those who view such images contribute to that abuse."

She said prior to his conviction he had been "altruistic" working as a fund raiser for Greenpeace and concerned for the environment but said it was also important to be concerned about the welfare of children.

However she accepted he had sought help and imposed a two year sentence, suspended for 22 months, and ordered him to do 200 hours unpaid work.

He was also placed on the sex offenders' register and a sexual harm prevention order.