September 2015

Bradford man sent pictures of babies being sexually abused to other paedophiles


A grandfather from Bradford has been jailed after he sent “vile” pictures, including babies being sexually abused, to other like-minded paedophiles.

Police went to Robert Haigh’s home in Queensbury on January 25 last year acting on information from colleagues in Cumbria that he had been distributing numerous such images and engaging in sex chats on websites.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said his computer equipment was seized. When the computer was examined, so many indecent images were found – more than 17,000 – that police officers eventually called a halt to examining any more discovered, Leeds Crown Court was told yesterday.

Of those categorised, she said 1,170 were at the most serious level category A, while 1,783 were at Category B and 14,397 at Category C. In addition 318 movies were found at Category A, 97 at Category B and 144 at the lowest category.

“Officers describe them as some of the most serious and horrific sexual abuse of young children and babies they have ever seen,” she said.

She said the offences were aggravated by the fact some of the images showed “discernible pain and distress.”

Inquiries revealed Haigh had discussed such abuse of children with others on websites and had distributed images to some of them

He fully admitted what he had done and provided passwords to his equipment and information on his distribution contacts.

Tom Rushbrooke, representing Haigh, said he had never troubled the courts before having worked hard all his life until he retired four years ago.

He had started looking at adult pornography and it progressed to the type of images found. Although he tried to delete them he was “something of a hoarder” in many respects.

He said police who visited the house discovered his interest in painting for example included a “room full of paint brushes.”

“He is deeply remorseful and ashamed of what he has done.” He said Haigh had already sought help for his “obsession” and had attended six counselling sessions. He had also provided all the help he could to police.

“Sometimes people look at these images and don’t think of the real suffering that has gone on in this, he understands now.”

Haigh, 69 of Back Lane, Queensbury admitted 10 offences of distributing indecent images and 21 of making images. He was jailed for two years and ordered to register as a sex offender indefinitely.

Judge Robert Bartfield told him: “You accumulated on your computer a huge volume of indecent material, all of which or almost all of which related to children and babies.”

He said examples found included the rape of babies “of the most vile nature.”

“The possession alone of this material would be an extremely serious matter but what makes your case more serious is that you were regularly distributing and exchanging these images with other paedophiles.”

The judge said he had reduced the sentence for the help he had given the police and his guilty plea but could not suspend it as his defence requested.

“It is difficult to comprehend the suffering and pain these babies and small children must have endured to produce those images and you, by your acquisition of these items and distribution have supported the industry.”