A FORMER assistant Cub Scout leader has been given a suspended prison sentence after 800 indecent images of children were found on his computer.
Arron Bark, 27, who lived in Lower Willingdon while the images were being downloaded but has since moved to Kent, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on March 10.
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to 20 counts of making indecent images of children between August 2008 and December 2009.
Bark was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, required to sign as Registered Sex Offender (RSO) for 10 years, made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), and is required to attend a Sexual Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP).
The images were photographs or pseudo photographs of girls believed to be between the ages of about nine and 13.
None involved local children and there was no evidence of any actual contact, in person or on-line, between Bark and the subjects of the images.
The offences came to light when the Sussex Police Paedophile Investigation Team (POLIT) received information that Bark had been accessing indecent images of children via the Internet.
Detectives executed a search warrant at his address in January 2010 and seized computer equipment and printed images.
Bark was arrested on the same day and bailed whilst enquiries continued, and a report was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.
He was then charged with the offences in November 2010.
Detective Constable Jane Tunnicliff of POLIT said, “The images we found were at all levels of seriousness and although there was no evidence of contact offending it should be remembered that behind every such image, whatever the exact detail, is by definition an image of a child being sexually abused.”
Detective Inspector Alison Eaton, who heads POLIT, added, “This sentence should send a clear message to others who think that online environments offer them anonymity in their offending, everything leaves a digital footprint and such perpetrators will be relentlessly pursued and brought to justice.”