Bognor paedophile who hid images jailed

Mark Gary Matthews, 32, currently of Queensway, Bognor, but formerly of Laurel Grove, Bognor'PICTURE SUPPLIED BY SUSSEX POLICE
Mark Gary Matthews, 32, currently of Queensway, Bognor, but formerly of Laurel Grove, Bognor'PICTURE SUPPLIED BY SUSSEX POLICE

A Bognor Regis man was sentenced over offences relating to indecent images of children.

Mark Gary Matthews, 32, currently of Queensway, Bognor, but formerly of Laurel Grove, Bognor, appeared at Chichester Crown Court on Friday (August 30) and was sentenced to a total of eight months imprisonment.

He was also served with a sexual offence prevention order (SOPO) to last indefinitely, severely restricting his access to computers and to children, will be required to register as a sex offender for ten years and was banned from any work with children.

He pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to making two indecent images of children and with failing to disclose his computer password. He was on bail until his sentencing on Friday.

The prosecution followed an intelligence-led investigation by the Paedophile On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT) of Sussex Police.

Detective Constable Chris Smith of POLIT said: “As we arrived at Matthews’ address in Laurel Grove to arrest him in December, 2010, he managed to run upstairs and pull the lead from his laptop, which was found to be fully encrypted.

“The indecent images he was charged with making were found on a micro SD card in his bedroom. Despite many opportunities he has refused to disclose the password, which is an offence in itself, and research is still continuing to break the encryption.

“As and when we are able to access his computer, and if we then find any indecent material on it, we will consult the Crown Prosecution Service about further charges.

“Failing to disclose a computer password is a very rare offence, and this is the first conviction of its type in Sussex.

“Anyone who has information about any alleged offending involving children, either current or historic, can always contact us, in confidence, via 101 or email contact.centre@sussex.pnn.police.uk. You can also contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111.”