Former LIVES charity worker jailed for 16 months for downloading child porn videos

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.

A Heckington man who worked for the LIVES emergency health care charity has been jailed today (Friday) for downloading porn videos showing girls of just four years old being raped.

Andrew Martin, who worked full-time for LIVES, was arrested in 2015 after police raided his home following a tip-off and seized computer equipment.

At Lincoln Crown Court, Martin, 57, of St Andrew’s Street, Heckington, admitted six charges of making indecent images of children, one charge of distribution of a pornographic image of a child and a further charge of possession of 34 extreme pornographic images.

The offences took place between February 2009 and September 2015. He was jailed for 16 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years. He was also given a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.

Sam Skinner, prosecuting, said officers received information that Martin was using a file sharing site to distribute illegal child porn.

Mr Skinner said: “When the police arrived Mr Martin was at work. Officers seized a computer tower and hard drive.

“The material on the computer was accessible to the user but had been placed in a hidden file. Only this defendant knew it was there until it was analysed by a computer expert.”

A total of 1,278 videos depicting child pornography were found including 597 which were of the most serious level. A further 1,072 still images of children were also found.

Analysis of the computer showed that one of the images had been distributed to 130 other viewers using a file sharing site.

Mr Skinner said that police only examined a small proportion of the 120,000 files on the computer as a full examination would have taken several months to complete. He said it was likely that more child porn would have been found if more work had been carried out.

Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told him: “There is just far too much material and this went on for far too long a period of time for me to do anything other than impose an immediate custodial sentence upon you.”

Christopher Hopkins, in mitigation, said Martin accepted full responsibility for what he had done and has sought help.

Mr Hopkins said: “He has no previous convictions. He is a man who before this was of exemplary character.

“He worked for the LIVES charity from 2004. It is a charity that provides first responders.

“He was responsible for setting up a local group before that and went on to become a full-time employee. He was still employed by the charity when the police came to see him in 2015.

“He says he only initially went on the internet looking at adult pornography. Over a period of time he became desensitised to it. By the time the police saw him he had no idea of the scale of what he had been doing.”

Mr Hopkins added: “He lost his job with the LIVES charity and has lost his relationship of 26 years as a result of these matters.”