Dec 2010

Paedophile’s ‘secret life’ on Skype uncovered

A pervert who built up a library of thousands of sick child sex images has been jailed for three years three months.

Mark Furness not only stored more than 46,000 images on his computers, he also distributed them to other paedophiles.

Judge Philip Statman showed his disgust at having to view a collection of clips, one of which was at the highest level of five showing a baby of less than 12 months being tortured and abused.

Maidstone Crown Court heard police raided 40-year-old Furness’s home in Beaver Road, Allington, in August and seized his computers.

He admitted 21 charges involving possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

Judge Statman said of the 46,299 images found, 951 were movie clips and 461 were at levels four and five.

He used programmes such as Skype to distribute them “to a wider audience”.

The judge said it was necessary for him to take a step back and calmly and dispassionately reflect on the offences.

“You suffer from a serious sexual deviancy with a predilection for young boys,” he told Furness.

“You discussed your predilection in chatrooms.”

Furness, now living in Wadhurst, East Sussex, had come “very close indeed” to being locked up indefinitely for public protection.

But to do that, said the judge, he would have to pass a sentence of at least four years and that would be manifestly excessive.

He invited the authorities to put Furness on a sex offender programme as part of his licensing conditions.

Furness will be banned from working with children or vulnerable adults and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Judge Statman added that should his sentence be reviewed elsewhere, the court should watch “that which I have had to watch earlier today”.

Speaking after sentencing, DC Mike Brown said: “Furness initially presented as a pleasant and respectable individual.

“It became very apparent however that he led a secret life where the appalling rape of children and the sharing of vile images of abuse with others was acceptable.

“He boasted to others of the vast quantities he had available, and actively engaged in networking with others with similar interests.”

Sentencing Furness, His Honour Judge Statman referred to the images as some of the worst he had ever seen.

The images are broken down into levels 1-5, level 5 being the most serious depicting sadism or bestiality with children.

Kent Police’s public protection DI Matthew Long added: “Kent Police remains determined to seek out those individuals who abuse children and are engaged in child abuse image offences.

“We are committed to identifying offenders and bringing them before the courts.

“We will continue to work, together with partner agencies, including CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre), to stop this horrific crime.”