May 2007

Paedophile jailed for year over depraved images

A paedophile who collected and distributed thousands of depraved images of children for more than seven years was today jailed for 12 months.

Stephen Webb, 43, of Wellhead Lane, Westbury, was sentenced at Swindon Crown Court after pleading guilty to 21 child pornography charges when he appeared before Chippenham magistrates’ court in April.

He was found to have 8,803 indecent photos of children and 354 indecent movies, many of them rated at the most disgusting level five, which involve images of sadism and bestiality.

The pervert also took photos of children he knew and superimposed their faces onto other indecent images.

Webb’s depraved interest was revealed through investigations by the Metropolitan Police’s computer crime unit, and his details were then passed to Wiltshire Police, who swooped on him as a result of Operation Hussar – part of a much-wider sting nicknamed Operation Ore.

The charges he pleaded guilty to included two counts of distributing an indecent photo of a child, 16 counts of taking/making an indecent photo/pseudo photo of a child, and three counts of possessing an indecent photo of a child.

At today’s hearing, Webb was handed an extended sentence of 36 months and following his release from prison he will have to undergo a sex offender’s treatment programme.

He will have to sign onto the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and has been disqualified from working with children.