A man has been jailed for six years after pleading guilty to a string of offences involving indecent images of children.
Jeffrey Beeden, of Furnival Street, Cobridge, was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday, Monday.
The 51-year-old pleaded guilty to 17 counts of making/possessing indecent photographs of a child and one count of distributing indecent photographs of a child between December 2004 and June 2012.
Beeden was arrested by police in March 2013 after he was released from prison for serving a nine-month sentence for breaching his Sex Offenders Prevention Order (SOPO).
During this time officers had carried out detailed examinations of computer equipment seized from Beeden’s home address on previous routine visits.
Their inquiries uncovered Beeden had set up a website and forum on the ‘dark side’ of the internet – an encrypted area of the internet accessed and used by offenders.
Hundreds of thousands of indecent images were recovered dating back several years. Beeden had distributed in excess of 6,000 indecent images of children.
Beeden allowed others to access the images he had, and also set up a forum encouraging others to provide, and discuss, indecent material.
Following his arrest Beeden was subsequently charged with multiple offences, to which he pleaded guilty yesterday.
Detective Inspector Andy Maxfield, from the force’s Child Exploitation Team, said: “Staffordshire Police will not tolerate those who download, possess or distribute images of child abuse.
“This sentence sends out a strong message to those who engage in this abhorrent type of offending behaviour. You will be caught and dealt with accordingly.
“The protection and care of vulnerable young people is a top priority for Staffordshire Police.
“The Child Exploitation Team, which is part of the force’s Protecting Vulnerable People Department, is dedicated to tackling child exploitation issues on a multi-agency basis through prevention, safeguarding and enforcement.
“Reports of child exploitation are treated extremely seriously and will be thoroughly investigated. We will continue to work closely with other agencies to protect the most vulnerable.
“Anyone with concerns about children is urged to contact Staffordshire Police on 101.”
Parents are encouraged to visit http://thinkuknow.co.uk for more details about safeguarding children online.