Jan 2002

Grandfather involved in child porn network

A GRANDFATHER involved in an international computer child pornography network has pleaded guilty to nine charges of taking and distributing indecent images of children as young as a year old.

Maidstone magistrates heard how police discovered more than 3,000 indecent photographs and 100 video clips on Victor Lavender’s computer at his home in Willington Street, Maidstone. They included images of “distressed” boys and girls as young 12-months-old being sexually abused by adults.

Claire Moulsher, prosecuting, told the court how Lavender, 63, had to submit his own pictures to members of the club to receive images in return. She said Lavender had taken explicit pictures of children playing in the swimming pool in his back garden and had distributed them without disguising their identity.

Fionagh Green, defending, said: “These charges didn’t involve any threats and relate to actions looking at the Internet in his own home. He didn’t realise what he was doing was wrong. He had no interest at all in the children.”

The court heard how Lavender had tried to take his life because of the stress of the police investigation and subsequent trial.

Lavender, whose long-term partner is said to be standing by him, has grown-up children and grandchildren. He also has serious heart problems.

Lavender was was committed by magistrates to the Crown Court for sentencing.