Southam dad tried to blame sons for child porn

Andrew Martin Outside Warwick Crown Court
Andrew Martin Outside Warwick Crown Court

A man who backed up pornographic images of children, including girls as young as five being raped, onto CDs tried to blame his sons for downloading them.

But Andrew Martin finally admitted his responsibility after it was found the son he first blamed would only have been three or four, and his brother no older than six, at the time.

The 43-year-old of Southam Road, Long Itchington, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of making indecent images of children and three of possessing such images.

And at Coventry Crown Court he was given a three-year community sentence and ordered to take part in a sex offenders’ programme for three years and to live at a probation hostel for the first six months.

Prosecutor Andrew Tucker said that when the police executed a search warrant at Martin’s home last year they seized his computer and some discs.

On the discs they then found he had copied 25 indecent images of children he had previously downloaded, including pictures covered by all three levels of seriousness.

Among the five in the most serious category were pictures of girls as young as five being raped. When Martin was interviewed in December, he attempted to deflect responsibility onto one of his sons, and then onto that boy’s older brother.

And when he first appeared in court he denied the charges – only admitting his guilt as he was about to stand trial.

Nicholas Aldridge, defending, said a pre-sentence report gave ‘a degree of insight’ into Martin’s offending.

“He accepts that a number of years ago, between 2001 and 2003, he downloaded these indecent images. He fully accepts he viewed them, although he continues to say he did not gain sexual satisfaction from them.”

But Judge Philip Gregory interjected: “I don’t believe that for one moment.”

Mr Aldridge, who said Martin had spent almost seven months in custody before getting bail, added: “He has engaged with the various services to try to put things right and complete any assessment so his life can go back to some degree of normality.”

Judge Gregory commented: “The pre-sentence report makes fairly disturbing reading, as does the absurd statement of his family taking the view he did not commit the offences and is taking the blame for others. What is shameful is that when caught he sought to blame his 17-year-old son, who would have been three or four at the time. It is deeply distasteful behaviour on his part.”

Sentencing Martin, who was ordered to register as a sex offender for five years, the judge told him: “You have displayed an unhealthy and unlawful and worrying sexual interest in young children.

“You made things worse by lying about what you had done, first by blaming one son, who would have been three or four, and then the other, who would have been five or six. This was utterly shameful behaviour.

“You are found to be a serious risk of harm to children. Nevertheless, in the light of the time you have already spent in custody I am prepared to adopt the recommendation of the probation officer.”

Judge Gregory also made Martin subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention, order under which he cannot work with children, have unsupervised contact with children, or live at any address where there are children.