Former Topsham barman jailed for naked child images

PUBLISHED: 16:08 15 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:08 15 April 2016

A former Topsham barman has been jailed after he was found with images of naked boys on his phone shortly after he completed a sex offenders' course.
Matthew Clark was sent on the course as part of suspended sentence imposed when he used an online cloud to share images with fellow paedophiles.

A former Topsham barman has been jailed after he was found with images of naked boys on his phone shortly after he completed a sex offenders' course. Matthew Clark was sent on the course as part of suspended sentence imposed when he used an online cloud to share images with fellow paedophiles.

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Matthew Clark, a former Topsham barman, has been jailed after being caught with naked images of boys on his phone

A former Topsham barman has been jailed after he was found with images of naked boys on his phone shortly after he completed a sex offenders’ course.

Matthew Clark was sent on the course as part of suspended sentence imposed when he used an online cloud to share images with fellow paedophiles.

He was found with 34 selfie-style images of naked boys aged 14 to 17 when police from the public protection team carried out a routine check on his iPhone.

Exeter Crown Court heard an app for the gay dating site Grindr was found on Clark’s phone; he said he received the images from a contact he met through the site.

Clark, aged 31, of Union Street, Newton Abbot, and formerly of Popham Close, Tiverton, admitted three offences of possessing indecent images of children and two of breaching the terms of the sex offenders’ register.

He was jailed for a total of 12 months by Judge Graham Cottle, who told Clark: “You undertook the Internet Sex Offenders’ Treatment programme. You obviously did not learn from that programme or learn enough from it.

“You committed identical offences in breach of a suspended sentence. It is unavoidable you must serve some of that sentence.”

Mr Gordon Richings, prosecuting, said Clark received a suspended sentence in September 2013 and was being monitored by the police under a sexual offences prevention order.

An officer visited his home in March 2015 and examined his iPhone where she found a Grindr app and naked images which looked as if they had been taken by men of themselves in mirrors.

The phone was examined and 34 of the images were of boys aged 14 to 17. Clark said they had been sent to him by another man.

Mr Jeffrey Segan, defending, said Clark joined Grindr with the intention of meeting adult males. Its terms of use impose a minimum age of 18 but other customers sent him the images.

Mr Segan said Clark had completed unpaid work, and supervision and had benefited from the treatment course.

He said his reaction to being sent the images was fear for his own future rather than any sexual excitement.

Clark is a former Topsham barman who was caught for the first time by a national police investigation into the use of an online drop box to distribute child abuse images.

He distributed 222 pictures or movies and was found with more than 4,000 more on his own computers.

At that time his own barrister described him as having an addiction to the images.

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