Man spared jail for porn offences

A SOCIAL worker who fronted a youth activities project has been spared jail after he admitted downloading child pornography.Grandfather Ian Sampson, 55, was banned from ever working with children again after Ipswich Crown Court heard he had collected 57 indecent images and videos of children under the age of 10.

A SOCIAL worker who fronted a youth activities project has been spared jail after he admitted downloading child pornography.

Grandfather Ian Sampson, 55, was banned from ever working with children again after Ipswich Crown Court heard he had collected 57 indecent images and videos of children under the age of 10.

Sampson, of Pakefield Street, Lowestoft, was given a 26-week suspended sentence prison sentence when he appeared at court on Thursday. He had previously admitted downloading the material through a file-sharing software programme from his home.

The court heard how the former social worker had asked a friend to build a new computer for him after his previous desktop stopped working. The workshop manager was directed to a skip by Sampson, who had dumped his old computer, and told to help himself to spare parts.


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When asked by Sampson's wife to recover photos she had stored on the hard drive, he discovered the child pornography and felt it necessary to report it to the police.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said officers found five images and 52 videos of an indecent nature involving young children, which Sampson used 'focused' search terms to find.

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Andrew Thompson, for Sampson, told how his client had been dismissed from work in October, shortly after being charged with the offences. As a result of his prosecution he was also prevented from making contact with his grandchildren unless supervised.

Mr Thompson said: 'When first brought to light, he immediately told officers what was on the computer. He maintained a frank approach to what was on the computer with his family.

'These images were downloaded over a relatively short period of time. It coincided with him being depressed and unhappy with work and to some extent bored. The images were not paid for and were found on a computer that was broken and ready for disposal.'

Sampson was ordered to attend a programme to address his sexual offending, and told to surrender the computer hard drive on which the material was found.

He was also disqualified from working with children for life and ordered to pay all court costs by Judge John Devaux, who described Sampson as 'a family man with a good work record and no previous convictions'.

Sampson had worked for Suffolk County Council for several years and at the time of his arrest was fronting the Positive Futures Project, which is spearheaded by the Suffolk Youth Offending team, and which aims to encourage young people to take part sporting projects instead of hanging around on the streets to reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.

During his time on the project Sampson was working with children in local communities between the ages of 10 and 16 across Waveney as well as in Ipswich and Haverhill.

A county council spokesperson said: 'When the allegations came to light the appropriate action was taken to ensure Mr Sampson had no access to children and young people. We followed the usual procedures while the matter was being investigated.'

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