November 2011

Man sentenced over indecent image offences in Shoreham

A 33-year-old man has today, Friday 11 November, been sentenced for possessing and making indecent images of children.
Benjamin Capelin, formerly of Downside, Shoreham, West Sussex, was sentenced to a total of 14 months imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court having previously pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing indecent images of children, 13 counts of making indecent images of children, three charges of possessing extreme pornographic images and one count of perverting the course of justice.

He was sentenced to two months for the perverting the course of justice offence and a total 12 months to run consecutively for the other offences. He was also served with a Sexual Offence Prevention Order (SOPO) and a requirement to be a registered sex offender for ten years on his release from prison.

The sentencing results from an investigation by the Sussex Police Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT). after intelligence was received from European law enforcement counterparts that indecent images of children were being accessed and exchanged on-line.

Detectives identified a computer in a pet shop in Shoreham High Street, where Ben Capelin worked, that was being used for this purpose. The shop and Capelin’s home address at the time were searched and more than 6000 indecent and extreme pornographic images of children were found on the office computer and a memory stick. They included more than 170 Level 5 images assessed as the most extreme.

After officers had been to the shop but before they got to his home, Capelin managed to take a laptop and a tower from his home and take them to a local waste site where he disposed of them. However officers realised that he had done this and after many hours searching local sites they subsequently found the tower, which contained much of the evidence, at the Shoreham waste transfer site. This also resulted in his being charged with the perverting justice offence.

Detective Inspector Alison Eaton said; “We must never forget that all these images represent terrible abuse of children, in this case including babies. Our POLIT officers will continue to follow up all such information in order to bring to justice offenders who help perpetuate child abuse worldwide in this way.”