Man from Bracklesham jailed over indecent images

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A man from Bracklesham Bay who went on the run after he was arrested for possessing indecent images of children has been jailed.

Paul Ashton, of no fixed address, fled the area after he was arrested in 2004.

Police finally caught up with him last year after he was included on the Crimestoppers Most Wanted list.

Ashton, 59, was jailed for 30 months at Chichester Crown Court for possessing more than 5,000 indecent images.

To begin with a warrant was issued at Ashton’s Bracklesham home where computer equipment was recovered.

He was then arrested and bailed.

A few months later his home was searched again and more computer equipment recovered but Ashton failed to answer his bail and fled.

Last July an anonymous call was made to Crimestoppers by someone who saw Ashton’s photo on the Most Wanted list.

He was working in South Wales under a different name and was quickly arrested and more computer equipment containing further images was found.

DC David Midgley, of West Sussex CID, said: “This case highlights how an individual’s criminality will catch up with them - whether it’s weeks, months or years later.

“Credit must go to the anonymous informant to Crimestoppers who became suspicious and rang in.

“Thanks to their actions, Ashton was finally brought to justice after spending nearly eight years in hiding.

“Ashton recognises that in each image, a child was a victim of crime.

“The length of the sentence shows how the justice system will punish those who download indecent images of children.

“Even when he is released, this man will be subjected to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which limits and monitors his use of computers and he will also be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.”