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Saturday, 8 May 2021

Man sentenced after downloading images of sexual abuse against children

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A man has been sentenced after sharing extreme images of sexual abuse against children.

Officers had been made aware that devices used by Andrew Lowe, 40, had been used to download indecent images of children using file sharing peer-to-peer computer software, also known as a ‘Torrent’.

Police attended Lowe’s home address in Mansfield at 6.50am on Tuesday 10 December 2019 and knocked on the door, but there was no answer.

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As a result, a warrant was conducted under the Protection of Children Act and officers forced entry into the property.

Around 15 minutes later, Lowe returned and was arrested on suspicion of making indecent images of children. He was also searched for electronics and devices which would store media.

A Torrent is a method of distributing data such as music, movies and games without relying on a single server.

Most material on Torrent sites is generally copyrighted and you don’t own it so downloading it for free is illegal. When a Torrent download is started, the BitTorrent system locates multiple computers with the file and downloads different parts of the file from each computer, and officers have been investigating the use of this, which is downloaded generally for free, to transfer child abuse material.

A total of 85 indecent images and videos were found on Lowe’s mobile phone, 19 of which were classed as ‘Category A’, depicting the most serious acts of sexual abuse that can be perpetrated against children.

Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday (14 April 2021), Lowe, of Greenshank Close, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and was handed a three-year community sentence.

He was also given a rehabilitation requirement with a maximum of 50 days and was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order that will tightly restrict his activities for the next seven years. Lowe was also made to pay a victim surcharge of £85, prosecution costs of £120 and an order was put in place for the forfeiture of his mobile phone.

Detective Constable Andrew Taylor, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This is a warning to anyone who views, downloads or shares indecent images of children – we are very likely to find out about it and – when we do – we will come to your home and arrest you.

“Child sexual exploitation is a wicked and exploitative industry. Each time someone like Lowe views or share this kind of material, they are helping to sustain this activity, which does harms to victims across the world.

“Behind every one of these depraved images and videos is a vulnerable child being sexually abused by adults.

“We hope this sentence gives Lowe the opportunity to reflect on his actions, and our officers remain dedicated to investigating and bringing anyone who makes, downloads or views this kind of illegal content to justice.”