March 2022

Child sex offender lied to police that he was helping FBI investigation

A Norwich man who downloaded and distributed indecent images of children claimed he had been helping the FBI who wanted to catch paedophiles online, a court has heard.

Police executed a warrant at the city home of Christopher Payne and seized phones and other equipment found to contain indecent images of children.

Norwich Crown Court heard following the raid at his Parmentergate Court home the 41-year-old told officers it was “okay if it’s just online”.

Simon Gladwell, prosecuting, said Payne went onto tell police in interview that he was contacted by a man “who said he was an FBI officer” who had “wanted to catch paedophiles online”.

But in a subsequent interview he was to admit it had been a “lie to try and justify his actions”.

Payne, who has 23 previous convictions for 42 offences, appeared at court on Wednesday (March 23) having previously admitted distributing indecent images of children on or before February 19 last year

He also admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and a further count of possessing extreme pornography.

Judge Maureen Bacon said: “These are real children who are being abused and they are being filmed while being abused for the likes of you to enjoy.”

Judge Bacon said category A, B and C images the defendant was found to have distributed or possessed included children between eight and 10 and even some “who could properly be described to be babies”.

But Judge Bacon acknowledged that the most serious offence of distributing the images would not have come to light “had you yourself not admitted it”.

In keeping with recommendations of the pre-sentence report, Payne was given a two-year prison term, suspended for 22 months, together with 30 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) and 30 days on a sex offender programme.

Payne was also made the subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and must sign on the sex offenders register, also for 10 years.