Bedford man jailed for viewing and sharing sexual images of children

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A Bedford man has been sentenced to two years in jail for online child sex offences.

Andrew Stryczko, 56, of Bower Street, was found to have more than 6,000 indecent images of children, including more than 1,000 of the most severe category.

Bedfordshire Police carried out a warrant at Stryczko’s home address after receiving information from the Child Exploitation Online Protection centre (CEOP), which suggested that he had been uploading indecent images of children onto the micro-blogging site Tumblr.

A number of devices were seized during the search and were found to contain thousands of illegal images of children on them, including hundreds of an extreme pornographic nature.

Police also discovered that Strycko had been using the devices to share the indecent images with others and discussed horrific child abuse with more than 100 people.

Yesterday (Wednesday), he appeared at Luton Crown Court and pleaded guilty to a number of offences.

Investigation Officer Emma Shipton, from the Bedfordshire Police Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team (ICAIT) said: “Real children suffer from real harm as a result of the abhorrent actions of people like Stryczko.

“Not only was Stryczko viewing horrendous images of children being abused, he was also causing the victims further harm by distributing the images to other like-minded individuals.

“Here at Bedfordshire Police we are absolutely committed to tackling those who think it is acceptable to carry out these sickening offences and we are working hard to bring individuals such as Stryczko to justice, while protecting other children from suffering harm.”

Stryczko pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images of children, making indecent images of children, distribution of indecent images of children, possession of extreme pornographic images, possession of prohibited images of children and intentionally encourage/assist the commission of an either way offence, namely distributing indecent images of children, intending to encourage or assist in its commission.

He was sentenced to two years in prison, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years, and has a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

On Monday (8 May), Bedfordshire Police launched Operation Netsafe, a regional campaign to tackle the viewing, making, and sharing indecent images of children.

The force is working with others in the Eastern region, alongside the charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, to promote this important issue.

ICAIT Detective Sergeant Graeme Twyford said: “The viewing and sharing of indecent images is a crime – causing severe trauma to countless children as a result of the thousands of people wanting to see such images.

“Resources are available for those who are worried about either their own, or a loved one’s behaviour and thoughts, and I think it’s really important that we let people know that help is available in a bid to help prevent the risk of the offending.

“That said, anyone who is caught offending can expect to feel the full weight of the law against them and we are working hard to crack down on those who think it is acceptable to view images of children being abused for their own sexual gratification.”