A MAN has appeared in court charged with a string of sex offences including taking and distributing indecent images of children.

Peter Boulton is accused of possessing more than 3,000 indecent images of young children.

The 54-year-old allegedly had 295 Category A photographs - which are deemed the most serious - between November 2013 and April last year.

Between August 2011 and April last year he is accused of having 394 Category B photos and he is said to have amassed a collection of 2,497 Category C pictures since May 2011.

Boulton, of Waldegraves Lane, West Mersea, is also accused of having 52 extreme pornographic images which depict a person in an explicit situation with animals.

He is also said to have 27 prohibited images of children.

Boulton is also facing two charges of distributing indecent images of children.

Between April 2011 and last year he is said to have sent on one Category A image and six Category C images.

He is accused of taking 54 videos of a child and 21 images of a child between October 2011 and June the following year.

Between April 2011 and November 2012, Boulton is accused of a voyeurism charge where he is said to have recorded a person doing a private act with the purpose of sexual gratification without their permission.

During his appearance at Colchester Magistrates’

Court, Boulton showed no emotion as he entered no plea to each of the nine charges he is facing.

Philip Pearson, prosecuting, said taken as a whole the charges would only be suitable to be heard at crown court.

He said: “All of these can be dealt with together and are not suitable for this court.”

Magistrates agreed to decline jurisdiction.

Boulton will next appear at Ipswich Crown Court next month for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

Until then, he has been released on bail with the condition he does not have sole custody, control or contact with anyone under the age of 18.