‘HORRIFIC’ images of child abuse were found during the investigation which led to a man and woman being jailed for sex offences.
Miroslava Belakova, 37, of Greenfoot Lane, Gawber, admitted to two counts of sexual assault against a child younger than 13 and making and distributing indecent images of children, and was sentenced to a total of 70 months in prison at Sheffield Crown Court last Tuesday.
Craig Fearn, 33, of Wakefield Road, Normanton, was initially arrested on drugs charges when police raided his former home in The Close, Cudworth, in 2018.
But when officers seized mobile devices found during the arrest, they found the harrowing images.
Detective Constable Elinor Duke, who led the investigation, said: “The examination of Fearn’s devices found over 400 images each of category A and category B - category A being the most severe - as well as over 1,000 category C images.
“In addition, analysis of his devices showed he was in possession of extreme pornography.”
Investigators identified Belakova who was also arrested, having subjected a child to ‘horrific’ abuse and made indecent images which she distributed to Fearn.
Fearn was sentenced to 49 months in prison, after pleading guilty to arranging or facilitating a child sexual offence, possession of indecent images of children and possession of extreme pornography.
He also entered guilty pleas to possession of a class B drug with intent to supply, and possession of the prohibited weapon CS gas.
The pair were handed indefinite sexual harm prevention orders (SHPOs) - which will see them monitored by police - and they will also serve three years on licence at the end of their sentences.
DC Duke said officers continue to work ‘relentlessly’ to track down both victims and perpetrators of child abuse - and while hearing Belakova and Fearn admit to their crimes in court was a positive, it doesn’t take away the effects of their actions.
“Indecent images investigations are harrowing for the officers and investigators that work on them, and Fearn had significant quantities of images depicting horrific abuse against children,” she added.
“What’s important to remember is that behind every image and video is an innocent child being harmed against their will, which is truly despicable.
“We work relentlessly to identify those involved in this type of offending - victims and perpetrators.
“Belakova was identified for being involved in the sexual assault of children, as well as the making of indecent images of children, which she then distributed to Fearn.
“While I am pleased that both Fearn and Belakova have admitted their crimes before a court, this does not take away the pain and harm caused to their victims.”