Essex Police Returned Laptop With 100 Indecent Images To Child Rapist

Essex Police Returned Laptop With 100 Indecent Images To Child Rapist

By Sammie Jones-

Essex police returned a laptop A police force returned a laptop containing over 100 abuse images to a man who went on to rape a child.

Paul Ashbury’s laptop was among some of the seized items handed back by Essex Police in August 2013, after it dropped a sex assault case against him, the Independent Police Commission(IOPC) concluded

Computers which may have contained over 100 indecent images were handed back to the pervert after the force decided to take no further action, the IOPC said

Asbury was later arrested by Norfolk Police in 2017, and imprisoned for child sex offences he committed between 2012 and 2017. The Independent Office for Police Conduct concluded that Essex police may have missed some child abuse images on the computer.

In a statement, the IOPC said Norfolk officers examined the machine and found “additional child abuse images which it is believed had not been identified during Essex Police’s investigation”.
52 year old Ashbury from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child, and possessing indecent images.

Computers which may have contained over 100 indecent images were handed back to the pervert after the force decided to take no further action, the IOPC said. Ashbury eventually admitted 27 offences, including 18 counts of raping a child, multiple sexual assaults on under-age females and making indecent photographs.

IOPC regional director Sarah Green described the allegations as “extremely serious”. The police commission is expected to examine the conduct of the Essex police officers to establish “what if anything they could have done differently”.

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