June 2006

Paedophile jailed for downloading child porn

A paedophile who used his dyslexic partner’s credit card to download graphic child pornography because he knew she could not read the bank statements has been jailed for nine months.

Brian Gerrard of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, downloaded more than 11,000 images of children onto his home computer between May 1999 and September 2003 before storing them on DVDs or ZIP files under names such as Little Angels and Magic.

The 56-year-old pleaded guilty to 20 specimen counts of making child pornography and one of possession at Trowbridge Magistrates’ Court in April.

Thirteen of the images were level five – those involving bestiality and sadomasochism with children, and 221 were level four – showing adults having full intercourse with children. 

British police were alerted to his fetish by US authorities, who traced his email address and credit card details from American websites with titles such as Child’s Play. 

“It would be obvious even to a casual user the nature of the material that would have appeared on it,” prosecutor Ian Halliday said. 

When confronted by police, Gerrard accepted that he was solely responsible for the images and that he had secretly used his partner’s credit card.

“He himself was an undischarged bankrupt and had no credit cards of his own to use,” Mr Halliday said.

Swindon Crown Court heard in mitigation that Gerrard had a difficult background because his partner suffers from Crohn’s disease and they lost a child after months of expensive fertility treatment which had cost them their house. 

Defence barrister Mark Ruffell told the court: “That destroyed them both and it made him immensely bitter. He found himself thinking about his own desires in a way he had not ever done before.” 

In recognition of his turbulent past, Judge John McNaught reduced his sentence from 12 to nine months on each count to run concurrent. 

He ordered that he should be placed on the sex offenders register for five years.