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Following a Warwickshire Police investigation, a 48-year-old man has been sentenced to prison for online child sex offences.
On 2 April 2019, officers from Warwickshire Police’s specialist Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team executed a warrant at the home address of Lee Anthony Barnwell on Dunchurch Road, Rugby, where he was arrested and digital devices were seized.
Following a forensic examination of the devices, evidence was recovered to prove Barnwell was involved in the online making and distribution of large collections of child sexual abuse imagery and videos.
Barnwell was further arrested on 27 August 2020 while he was under investigation, after evidence showed he was continuing to offend. Officers submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service and charges were authorised, with Barnwell being remanded into custody.
A large quantity of the files in his possession were within Category A. All of the offences were conducted online.
Barnwell pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on Thursday (4 February), for:
He was sentenced to three years and four months imprisonment, was ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register indefinitely and was given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO). He was also made to pay a £170 victim surcharge, as well as a forfeiture of the images.
One of the investigating officers, Det Sgt Daniel Freeman said: “We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities from people like Barnwell, and will leave no stone unturned to bring them to justice.
“We have a dedicated team of specialist officers targeting child sex offenders online to prevent harm to all children and to identify victims. Using a range of techniques and by working with other law enforcement agencies around the world, we also pursue and identify those creating and sharing indecent images of children online."
Issued: HCB, Corporate Communications