February 2020

Martin Ellis viewed images of girls as young as four

A pervert who viewed a “ghastly” haul of images depicting the sexual abuse of girls as young as four dodged a prison sentence after a judge said he posed no risk to children.

Martin Ellis, 58, said “his world fell apart” after his employer read a newspaper report covering his appearance at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

At the hearing, in November, the court heard how Ellis had viewed indecent images of children and extreme pornographic images.

Ellis was sentenced for his crimes at a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court

The court heard how the pervert, who also viewed images depicting sexual interference with a corpse and bestiality has now lost his job

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, laid out how police seized three devices, a desktop computer and two hard drives, from his home in the Longridge area of Colchester, in December 2018.

The devices were found to contain 34 still images of children and one video of the most serious category A.

Also found were 38 category B images, 62 images of category C, 38 extreme pornographic images and two prohibited images of children.

“There was evidence on one exhibit of clear searching for indecent images of children,” he said.

“There was some encryption and anti-forensic software installed on the device.”

Ellis had admitted three counts of possessing extreme pornography, three counts of possessing indecent images and one of possessing a prohibited image.

Judge David Goodin said: “This is horrid stuff isn’t it, as I hope you are capable of appreciating or learning now?

“Children, of whatever age, are going through the images being created.

“It is being put out on the net to be viewed by people who clearly click on the mouse, creating further demand for this stuff.

“At the age of 58 you have led, as far as I can see, an otherwise blameless life and although I think we are entering dark areas of the soul here, there is evidently reason to believe you are capable of appreciating how ghastly this is.”

Judge Goodin said sentencing guidelines stated community orders can be passed as an alternative to prison sentences in such cases if there is a “sufficient prospect” of rehabilitation.

“Nothing you have done suggests any child is personally at risk from you,” he said.

Under a three year community order, Ellis must complete a programme designed for sex offenders, a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 180 hours of unpaid work.

He will be the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for five years.