Horsham child sex offender ‘had nearly 47,000 indecent images of children’

A man convicted of child sex offences has been jailed again after being found with nearly 47,000 indecent images of children.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 10:32 am

Police say that Mark Grindon, 37, unemployed, of Swallowfield Close, Mannings Heath, near Horsham, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court to 13 months in prison, after admitting making 46,986 indecent images, still photos and movies, possessing extreme pornography and possessing prohibited images.

He was also, say police, in breach of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order by using a device to access the internet without monitoring software, and breach of registered sex offender notification requirements.

Police say they also believe that Grindon, using the name ‘Eddie Gardener,’ may have been in an online dating site contacting women who have children.

Mark Grindon

Grindon had previously been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment at Guildford Crown Court in December 2019 having been convicted of going online to look at the sites of young girls, and of possessing the items, despite a court order directing him not to do so.

But forensic examination of his digital devices seized when he was arrested in 2019 had continued, resulting in the discovery of the indecent images and his further sentencing, say police.

Grindon had first been convicted at Chichester Crown Court of making indecent images of children in November 2016. He was given a suspended prison sentence and, as well as being a registered sex offender, he was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order - SHPO - severely restricting his contact with children and computers and requiring him to clear any such contact with supervising police officers.

But, early in 2019 following checks, it became clear, say police, that he had been looking at Instagram accounts of more than 30 girls from across the country, aged between 11 and 15, mainly in ballet and leotard outfits.

A police spokesman said: “There was no evidence that Grindon had contacted any of the girls identified.

“But this was a clear breach of the SHPO and when police searched his home they also found camera phones, a GoPro camera and a computer tablet concealed in a hidden compartment behind a false shelf in his bathroom, alongside sex toys, girl’s leotards and a child sex doll.

“They also found a camcorder. His possession of all these breached the Order.

“As a result Grindon became a registered sex offender indefinitely and was given a renewed SHPO, again to last indefinitely, continuing the severe restrictions on access to children and computers.

“The restrictions include a ban in his using any form of social media.”

PC Louise Giles of the Sussex Police team responsible for monitoring registered sex offenders in the community in West Sussex said; “This further sentencing shows that we will continue to seek out evidence, even though it may be a time-consuming process, to bring such offenders to justice in order to protect the community.

“Grindon has been known to use an alias ‘Eddie Gardener’ in online dating profiles, to contact women with access to children.

“If you have had contact with him, please contact us either online, or by calling 101, quoting reference 47190112747.”