Saturday, 5 Dec 2020

Award-winning children’s balloon artist kept over 1,500 indecent images of kids

A renowned balloon artist has been found to have kept a vile trove of over 1,500 indecent images of children.

Samuel Stamp-Dod, 46, gave himself up to police after his disgusted girlfriend found an indecent image of a 10-year-old girl on his tablet by chance.

She told a court how she made the grim discovery after waking up at 4.30am and going downstairs to get a glass of water.

She saw the indecent picture when she decided to play a game of solitaire on his tablet in the kitchen and went on to find more child porn on the device.

Stamp-Dod's girlfriend ended their relationship, telling him that he should turn himself in to police, said prosecutor Matthew Bagnall told Ipswich Crown Court

The entertainer, who has won awards for his balloon sculptures, then went to Ipswich police station and spoke to officers and handed them his phone.

A police examination of his devices found 216 indecent images of the most serious kind – category A – along with 304 at category B and 1,030 at category C.

Stamp-Dod, of Ipswich, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and possessing an extreme pornographic image on January 5 last year.

Judge Emma Peters told him that "those who view indecent images fuel child abuse".

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She added: "This is why you should hang your head in shame. It has an enormous and devastating impact on the lives of children."

Stamp-Dod was given an eight months jail sentence, suspended for two years, and up to 60 rehabilitation activity days.

He must also sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years and was made subject to a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

David Stewart, defending, said Stamp-Dod had already engaged with child protection charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and helpline Stop It Now.

He added: "He makes no attempt to minimise or justify his actions."

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Mr Stewart added that Stamp-Dod had now closed his business called VIP Balloons.

Stamp-Dod is the former chairman of the Ipswich & Suffolk Small Business Association.

He described himself on his website as having been a professional balloon artist since 2001.

His business provided speciality balloons and entertainment packages for parties for children as well as adults, as well as weddings and corporate events.

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