September 2019

Lorry driver avoids jail for downloading sexual image of children as young as one

A lorry driver has avoided prison despite downloading sexual images of children as young as one who were in “distress”.

Twisted Varden Edwards, 52, was caught with more than 300 images and three videos on his tablet and mobile phone, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Edwards, of Charlton Street, Maidstone, admitted four offences of possessing indecent images of children and one of making indecent images.

He wept after his eight months’ imprisonment was suspended for 18 months.

Edwards was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Stephen Thomas told him: “Although you have not done anything to the children, you have made it worthwhile for someone else to do that harm.

“It is not a victimless crime. There are very real victims who are essentially abused because people like you are willing to view the images. Consider yourself a lucky man, Mr Edwards.”

The court heard police seized the devices during a search of Edwards’s home in September 2017.

Prosecutor Daniel Wright said the images depicted a large number of children aged from one yearto 14.

When arrested and interviewed married Edwards denied having any sexual interest in anyone under the age of 16.

But Keith Yardy, defending, said that when “crunch day came”, there had been “recognition, acknowledgment and remorse” for his serious offending.

Edwards will spend 10 years on the sex offenders’ register.