June 2003

Rape and child abuse images man jailed

A man was jailed for 11 years yesterday after admitting raping a young girl and possessing thousands of indecent images of children.

Paul Christopher Houghton, of Southbourne Avenue, Alumwell, Walsall, pleaded guilty to rape and keeping 16,000 indecent images of children – some just months old – on his home computer.

Sentencing him at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Judge David McCarthy called Houghton’s actions ‘exceptionally grave’.

Prosecutor Tom Kenning told the court police raided Houghton’s home on September 11 last year and seized six computers.

Examinations of them revealed images of Houghton (31) subjecting a young girl to various sexual acts.

Mr Kenning said the photographs had been taken with a digital camera and then transferred to the computer.

Houghton was arrested and admitted raping the girl, adding that it had only happened on one occasion.

But further analysis of the computer equipment discovered more than 16,000 images – many downloaded from the Internet – of very young children being subjected to terrifying sexual assaults by adults.

Other images showed Houghton with the same girl in different outfits.