A pervert who had more than a million child abuse pictures and videos has been jailed after spending lockdown sharing the vile images.
Ian Wraith, 71, is said to have an ‘entrenched and enduring addiction’ to looking at the images of youngsters – some of whom were prepubescent.
Such is his obsession that he stored his 1.5m paedophile images in categorised folders across two hard drives and a laptop so he can find his choice more easily, a court heard.
Former timber merchant worker Wraith was jailed in October 2015 after spending up to 16 hours a day running a paedophile website based in India.
When he was arrested with millions of images he told police he boasted to police that he had ‘every single indecent image possibly in existence’.
Wraith said in interview he was administrator for two years. He gained 940 members at 50 dollars each which totalled $750,000.
Yesterday Portsmouth Crown Court heard he was released early from a four-year term in December 2017 but then recalled in March 2018 and jailed again for 16 extra weeks for having more images.
But when he was released from jail in February last year he went straight back to sharing images from the home in Portchester he shares with his 63-year-old wife.
He ‘couldn’t resist looking’ at the images, prosecutor Jeffrey Lamb said.
Sitting at home just weeks before lockdown he started accessing two hard drives filled with images not previously seized by police.
Police found a laptop and the hard drives under his bed, along with printed perverted images in an A4 folder pre-dating his first jail sentence in 2015.
When arrested and asked what he felt about the victims of abuse he said: ‘Nothing.’
Wraith was arrested in December last year when police were tipped off he was using peer-to-peer sharing software, downloading and distributing images direct from and to other perverts’ computers.
Mr Lamb added: ‘He believes everybody should have access to those types of images.
‘He went on to say it’s a free world and this type of material should not be blocked because of somebody else’s thought patterns.’
He added: ‘There are 288,878 confirmed illegal images but only 18 per cent of the files had been viewed (by police).
‘Those investigating him estimate there could be in excess of 1.5m images of children on all of the exhibits seized from Mr Wraith.’
A psychiatric report found he was fit to plead in court.
In 2015 Wraith had 1.2m confirmed indecent images while running the India-based website where users paid around $40 to access pictures.
Judge David Melville QC jailed Wraith, of Birdwood Grove, for three years and said he had an ‘extraordinary’ number of images in the ‘appalling’ and ‘very serious’ case.
Wraith told police he alone was responsible for the images at home.
He admitted seven charges – breaching a sexual harm prevention order, three charges of distribution and three of making indecent images – at all categories of severity.
Charges reveal he shared or distributed 293 images on peer-to-peer software.
He must comply with a sexual harm prevention order and sign the sex offenders’ register for life.
OAP paedophile caught with millions of indecent images and ran perverted website from home
Pervert Ian Wraith has been jailed after running a paedophile website and having more indecent images in his collection than in a police database.
Millions of child abuse images were found on the 66-year-old’s hard drives – more images than Hampshire police’s own database – when he was tracked down.
Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said: “He said the officers had every single indecent image possibly in existence and they could make the database of his collection”
When Wraith heard about a new national database being set up, he suggested it could be made from his collection.
Prosecutor Kerry Maylin told Portsmouth Crown Court: ‘He said the officers had every single indecent image possibly in existence and they could make the database of his collection – and that was exactly right.
‘His collection was much larger than the database.’
The court heard how a worldwide police operation was launched to find all members of the disgusting website – created in India – Wraith ran following the pensioner’s arrest.
Indian authorities are yet to arrest the creator.
Former timber merchant worker Wraith, of Birdwood Grove, Fareham, was a paying member of a subscription website offering images and was made administrator by its creator. Miss Maylin said Wraith was in charge of giving its 943 members access to images and made more than 3,400 posts on the site.
She said: ‘He was thanked 953 times for one particular post that he had made.
‘These posts were made in September 2014 and some of the comments from others who had access to them were things of the like “best pictures I have ever seen”.
‘They were involving an image of children of about eight or nine years of age.’
Police said after he retired a month before his arrest Wraith would wake up at 6am and sit at his computer until midnight sharing and viewing the perverted images.
Officers going through his high-capacity computer storage devices to classify photos had to stop as there were too many on the laptop and three hard drives.
Investigating officer PC Lisa Robins added: ‘This is the biggest case that Hampshire Constabulary has had for the amount of indecent images.
‘There were millions and millions that we could just not view physically and mentally.
‘It would have taken months and months to analyse – maybe even a year.’
Members of the site – which The News is not naming – paid $40 to $50 a month for access.
PC Robins added: ‘Wraith said in interview he was administrator for two years, we could never prove or disprove that. Taking two years with 940 members at 50 dollars that’s $750,000.
‘If it had been the four years it would have been $1.4m.’
Of the 1.6m images found on his hard drives, police estimate 1.2m were indecent with 833 movies and 603 of them thought to be indecent.
Wraith admitted using the website – under the username Sandra – since December 24, 2010. He was only caught after using his credit card, real name and postal address to pay £80 for videos from another website between July 2009 and July 2010.
Canadian police tracked and handed the case to CEOP, which in turn alerted Hampshire Constabulary.
When officers visited his home on October 7 last year they found 38 DVDs he had burned and put suggestive titles on from downloaded files in relation to the Canadian investigation.
Ms Maylin said: ‘He made comments that he didn’t believe some of the images were indecent and made the comment that most of the children were often smiling and touching themselves and happy to perform for the camera.
‘He added in these words “you wouldn’t believe what these kids get up to when they’re on their own with a camera”.
‘He said in relation to movies he had downloaded from the Canadian investigation he said he didn’t see them as indecent as children were merely playing, nothing bad happening to them.’
He admitted to being the administrator of the website and also using another file-sharing website.
But Wraith could not stop even when arrested.
After he was bailed he used his wife’s laptop, getting her to log him in telling her he was going on Amazon and eBay.
But he viewed more indecent images – and was arrested again in February.
Ms Maylin added: ‘He told the police that he looked at indecent images of children since the internet began.
‘He said that prior to the start of the internet he bought videos of children wherever he could get them.’
When Wraith heard about the setting up of a police national database to store images and classify them automatically he said his collection was larger.
Wraith even admitted he smuggled VHS tapes of boys into the country 25 years ago but was found not guilty at trial after claiming he did not know what was in the tapes.
But in a pre-sentence report put before the court he admitted he did know what they contained.
Sentencing him to four years and four months in prison Judge Ian Pearson said his actions fuelled the trade of paedophile images.
‘Some of the children were very young, indeed some were babies and some were abused in the most appalling ways,’ the judge said.
He added: ‘There are thousands of victims and you bear real responsibility for their horrific treatment.
‘You are still partially in denial it would seem as to how serious these offences are.’
He added probation assessed Wraith as a medium risk of serious harm to children but he said that was an underestimate.
At an earlier hearing Wraith pleaded guilty to 32 charges, which were:
One charge of conspiracy to distribute indecent images between December 24, 2010 and October 8, 2014;
Three counts of distributing indecent images,
24 counts of making indecent images
Four of possessing indecent images.
The charges covered all three categories from C to the worst at grade A.
Daniel Reilly, defending, said Wraith helped police significantly with access to the site he ran enabling them to catch further criminals.
He added: ‘Over a number of year it was something that he considered had become and addiction, something that really grew in terms of its significance when he retired.’
Judge Pearson ordered Wraith to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and handed him a sexual harm prevention order for life, banning him from using computer equipment.