Dad avoids jail after downloading indecent images of children

St Albans Crown Court. Picture: DANNY LOO

Martin Nash, 49, appeared for sentencing at St Albans Crown Court on Monday. - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

A dad-of-three from Potters Bar has avoided prison after downloading indecent images of children as young as eleven.

Martin Nash pleaded guilty to two counts of making indecent images of children – although the material was not made by him – but Recorder Stan Reiz QC opted against imposing a prison sentence on the 49-year-old despite acknowledging the seriousness of the offence at St Albans Crown Court on Monday. 

He will serve an 18-month community order which includes 20 days of rehabilitation activity and 100 hours of unpaid work and will be on the sex offenders register for five years. 

Nash was arrested in 2019 after police found three category A – the most serious classification – and six category C videos on his personal laptop following a trace on his IP address. 

Among the category A material were videos of children believed to be aged 11 and 12, as well as a pre-pubescent girl. 

Nash – who is on the autism spectrum and has been diagnosed with ADHD – admitted downloading the content was not for any specific sexual perversion, while the court said had been taking ‘more and more risks when looking for material’ before turning to illegal content. 

Despite his arrest and admission of guilt in 2019, the Potters Bar resident – who runs a property management business – was not interviewed by officers until November 2020 and was charged in March this year. 

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“The harm caused by the serial exploitation of children cannot be understated,” said Reiz QC at the sentencing hearing on Monday. 

“You being a father should have that at the forefront of your mind. 

“If there was no demand for indecent images it would be less likely to be made.” 

He noted the regret shown by Nash, who has been seeing a therapist and undertaking psychological help since his arrest, and the impact it has had on his life with his marriage collapsing following his arrest. 

“You have expressed remorse for your actions and you have taken steps to address your offending behaviour,” he said. 

The laptop used by Nash to download the images will be destroyed.