A man who tried to hide a laptop containing images of child abuse under his bed when his home was raided has been jailed.
Warwick Brooks, 42, of Wordsworth Road, Worthing, had more than 3,000 indecent images of children on five electronic devices and trawled the dark web for abuse pictures, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
He was jailed for seven and a half years for sexually abusing a child after pleading guilty.
In March 2015 National Crime Agency officers tried to execute a warrant at Brooks’s rented home in Herstmonceux, East Sussex.
He was seen at the back of the house in the conservatory and when NCA officers identified themselves he ran off.
Officers forced entry and found him upstairs where he admitted trying to hide a laptop under his bed.
Brooks was arrested and officers recovered the laptop, mobile phones, a tablet, USB drive and hard drives and 28 grams of herbal cannabis.
Forensic analysis of the devices showed that Brooks had photographed himself abusing a child.
It also revealed he used software to hide and permanently delete data. Among his haul were 78 category A images of child abuse – the most serious.
In interview Brooks denied possessing indecent images of children, provided a written statement admitting possessing herbal cannabis and then answered ‘no comment’ to all questions.
Brooks was interviewed again in March 2016 and he still denied the offences.
On February 3 this year he admitted sexual activity with a child under 13, seven counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing cannabis.
He was sentenced to seven and half years in prison when he appeared at Hove Crown Court on Friday. The judge increased the initial four and a half year sentence by three years, deeming Brooks to be a danger to the public.
Senior investigating officer Mark McCormack said: “Despite continually denying the offences Brooks finally pleaded guilty because of an enormous weight of evidence against him.
“He had thousands of disgusting images of abuse – each picture reinforcing the horrendous market in child abuse.
“The NCA, together with its partners, will continue to work to safeguard and protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, ensuring those who seek to harm them are identified and prosecuted.”