Leamington teenager left memory stick with child sex images in lounge

Leamington Justice Centre, where Warwick Crown Court sits
Leamington Justice Centre, where Warwick Crown Court sits
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When staff at a sheltered housing premises for young adults found a memory card in the lounge, they checked 
it and found it contained indecent images of children.

So the police were called, and resident Zak Markham-Martin, who was already subject to a sexual harm prevention order over earlier indecent images, was arrested.

Markham-Martin, aged 18, of Leicester Street, Leamington, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of making indecent images of children and breaching the order.

But on the day he was due to be sentenced, prosecutor Matthew Brook asked for the case to be adjourned.

He explained that in February last year Markham-Martin had been made subject to a referral order and a five-year sexual harm prevention order for offences of making indecent images of children.

Following the hearing he did not return home, but found accommodation at sheltered housing for young adults, where it was noticed he was very withdrawn and spending a lot of time on his laptop.

In August last year he left his memory card in the lounge, where it was found by a member of staff who checked it and found it contained indecent images of children.

So Markham-Martin was charged in relation to those images and entered his guilty pleas in December, after which the case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

But Mr Brook said that since then the police have also examined Markham-Martin’s laptop and phone, which had been seized when he was arrested.

On the laptop they found two stills and one movie in category A and seven category C stills, as well as a large amount of illegal extreme pornography.

The phone contained 42 stills and six movies in category A, 23 category B stills, and 277 stills and one movie in category C – but there was also a message making it clear he had sent an indecent image to another person.

“He has been interviewed about those matters in prison and made full and frank admissions; but what has not happened is that he has not yet been charged with those matters.”

Recorder Gareth Evans QC asked whether they could be ‘taken into consideration’ - but Mr Brook said that could not be done because of the more serious distribution offence.

Adjourning the case for Markham-Martin to be charged and for the further matters to be sent to the crown court, Recorder Evans told him: “It’s important that when the court comes to sentence you it has all the matters in front of it.

“I appreciate you have been in custody since August, but these are serious matters, and it’s important the court has all the information in front of it.”