October 2018

Sam Crouch avoids jail after being found with hundreds of indecent images

A man has avoided jail after he was found to have 900 indecent images of children on a laptop he left in Halstead.

Sam Crouch, 31, unemployed, of Overton Lane, Saul, Gloucestershire, received nine month concurrent sentences, suspended for 18 months, for six counts of making indecent images of children, possession of extreme pornography and possession of prohibited images of children.

He was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, October 24, and has been placed on sex offender register for 10 years and was given a 10-year a sexual harm prevention order.

He has also been ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid, 25 days rehabilitation activity requirement and 26 sessions on a designated programme.

Crouch previously admitted to the offences at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday, September 7.

Essex Police began investigating Crouch after receiving a report on Sunday, August 26, that he had folders on his computer including indecent images of children, one of which was displayed as his laptop wallpaper.

Officers seized his laptop from a property he had previously stayed at in Halstead.

They soon established he had moved to Gloucestershire and after his new address was discovered, Crouch was arrested. A phone was seized during the search.

After searching both his laptop and phone, police found 646 category C images, 217 category B images and 32 category A images.

Investigating officer DC Paul Ross, of Essex Police’s Online Investigation Team, said: “Despite downloading numerous applications to hide and cover up his illegal behaviour and his interest in child pornography, he left an insecure laptop at a former address and fled the area in an effort to avoid justice.

“The fact that he had a sickening image as his own personal wallpaper, showed the level of fascination he had in indecent images of children. It also showed his complete disregard for the consequences of his actions and the law.

“Crouch is now a registered sex offender and is subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order, meaning we able to monitor his day to day and online activities.”