2nd July, 2003

Paedophile had nearly 100,000 child abuse images

A PAEDOPHILE who amassed more than 85,000 indecent images and videos of children on his computer has been jailed for 12 months.

With almost 1,300 in the two most serious categories, one of the images included a five month-old baby being abused.

Sentencing Darren Stalford, 37, at Liverpool Crown Court, Judge Stephen Clark described the case as involving the “grotesque exploitation of children”.

He said that Stalford had told a probation officer that he preferred images of 12 and 13-year-olds. However the judge pointed out that many of the images showed much younger children including babies and toddlers.

As well as the indecent material, Stalford had 61 videos of extreme porn involving animals and 15,772 prohibited images including drawings of children being abused.

Robert Jansen, prosecuting, told court that police raided his home on Milton Avenue in Whiston in January 2011 after an internet monitoring organisation became aware that there were indecent images of children on a message board on a computer server in his home.

He admitted to police that he was the moderator and host of the message board and said he had set it up for social contact with friends. Unsolicited images of children were posted, he claimed, but he had deleted them.

His computer, laptop and external hard drive were taken and after an initial examination which revealed indecent images, Stalford claimed they had been accidentally downloaded.

He was re-interviewed last October and said he liked looking at images of girls aged 13 to 19. Some of the images had been on his computer since 2005.

Stalford pleaded guilty to a total of 17 offences involving making and possessing illegal images. Judge Clarke ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and exposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, restricting his internet use for 10 years.

Lloyd Morgan, defending, said that Stalford was a hard-working man with no previous convictions. After a tragedy involving an ex-partner he had become “something of a loner” leading him to spend too much time on his own looking at pornography.