Feb 2004

Internet child porn horror

Two court cases during the past week have highlighted the extent of internet child porn in west Wales.

Peter Charles Benson, aged 54, of Felin Cwrt House, Login, who was said to have built up the biggest child porn collection in Wales, was jailed for 15 months.

Swansea Crown Court heard on Friday that Benson had downloaded 50,711 images over a ten-year period. The vast majority fell into the mildest category of child porn. But 235 photographs were of the worst type.

Maggie Hughes, prosecuting, said some pictures showed malnourished young children being abused. Some were aged as young as two and were clearly in distress, she added. Some of the images appeared to have been filmed in eastern Europe.

Unemployed Benson added a second hard drive to his computer to handle all the pictures. He also created more than 1,000 sub directories to separate the images into categories of abuse to ease future retrieval and viewing.

Judge Michael Burr told Benson he was disturbed that he still seemed to view the offences as being victimless. Benson had said he believed the children had been play-acting for the camera.

The case resulted from a police raid on his home in July last year. Benson admitted 15 specimen offences of possessing and making indecent images of children.

He was ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for the next ten years.