February 2015

Paedophile from Widnes slated from public gallery as he is sent to prison


A paedophile busted in a national crackdown and whose vile image collection was too big for investigators to process has been caged.

Widnesian Dennis Carroll, 65, told his then-wife ‘it’s me’ when police visited to search his former house on Grizedale in Hough Green on April 29 last year.

Investigators found that Carroll’s sick collection was so vast that they did not have the resources to trawl through the total hoard of about 370,000 images, which had been amassed over 10 years between 2004 and 2014.

They instead counted nearly 40,000 indecent photographs, videos and several computer generated pictures of sexual abuse.

Chester Crown Court heard on Monday that the files featured images children in ‘pain’ and ‘distress’, and 2,613 were of the worst ‘Category A’ type.

Carroll also shared access with other paedophiles via ‘peer to peer’ software. He had also emailed some pictures.

He had also retrieved some of the most depraved images which he had deleted because of his ‘hunger to revisit them’.

Peter Hussey, prosecuting, told the court that police also discovered an email sent by the defendant to another paedophile featuring a picture of an associate’s teenage daughter and a doctored image of himself next to it, subtitled with an obscene message.

Officers spoke to the girl’s horrified parents to establish no contact offence had taken place.

As he was sent down to the cells, Carroll was told to ‘rot in Hell’ from the public gallery.

Kyra Badman, defending, said Carroll’s sentence should be reduced for pleading guilty to his seven charges and said the defendant had worked since he left school at the age of 15, when he joined the Merchant Navy and later assessing metal. She added that he has now admitted to having a sexual interest in children, something he had denied in police interview.

Sentencing him to two years behind bars, with a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) and disqualification from working with children, Judge Roger Dutton, presiding, told Carroll that every child in the 39,500 images was a victim.

He added that he could not order the defendant to complete a sex offender programme in prison because the sentence would be too long for a community punishment and too short a spell in prison to qualify for such a scheme. He called this a ‘lacuna’ in the system.

Judge Dutton said: “Rarely does this court have the misfortune to have to deal with cases involving images of children to the extent of this case which involves some 40,000 images.

“Not only that but I’m told that there is as much as a third of a million images that the police have not had the resources to get onto so this case is in my experience, and I have done many cases of this kind, of a category of its own, more serious than the seriousness of a usual case of this kind.

“For each image in this case there’s a victim, some child has been exploited, some child has been used for the purposes of the photographer or photographers.

“In some cases children have been caused pain.

“They have always been humiliated and one never knows what the true impact of on the individual child will ever be.

“That’s what makes this so serious.”