July 2022

Bury man admits possessing thousands of indecent images of children

A Bury St Edmunds man is facing jail for possessing more than 2,000 indecent images of child sexual abuse and distributing them over the internet 

Police executed a warrant at the home of Samuel Branthwaite, 30, after receiving information that his email had been used to upload indecent images of children to the internet, Suffolk Magistrates’ Court heard. 

Katherine Emms, prosecuting, told magistrates that officers seized devices following the raid on October 5, 2021. 

Branthwaite immediately made admissions to the offences to officers at his home, the court heard. 

Following analysis, 822 indecent images of the most serious kind – category A – were discovered along with 803 images graded as category B. A further 649 category C indecent images were also found. 

It was also discovered that Branthwaite was sending indecent images of children to others over the internet. 

He sent five category A indecent images, two category B and two of category C to one user named “JohnJohn999000” over the platform Kik, Ms Emms said. 

He also distributed one category A indecent image to another person, and a further two category B images to a different user via messaging application Wickr. 

A total of 179 prohibited images of children were discovered along with 80 extreme pornographic images which involved animals. 

On Friday, Branthwaite, of Ashwell Road, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty to eight charges in total.

He admitted three counts of making indecent images of children, three charges of distributing indecent images of children, possessing prohibited images of children, and possessing extreme pornographic images. 

Ms Emms said the starting point for the offences is three years in custody and told magistrates she did not believe their sentencing powers were great enough. 

Magistrates declined jurisdiction and committed the case to the crown court for sentence. 

A pre-sentence report from the Probation Service was also ordered by magistrates.

Branthwaite is now subject to interim notification requirements following his guilty pleas.

Magistrates granted Branthwaite conditional bail and he will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on a date to be fixed.