Blind paedophile collected child sex abuse images for over a decade

A paedophile claimed he couldn’t have been looking at indecent images of children because he’s blind.

Colin Boon, 61, put forward the explanation as his defence lawyers prepared his case for trial.

That defence fell away when the Westbury man pleaded guilty in February to a dozen counts of possession of indecent or prohibited images of children and extreme pornographic videos showing women having sex with animals.

Judge Peter Crabtree sentenced Boon to 18 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, after hearing the sexagenarian was awaiting an operation to have a pacemaker fitted and it was unlikely he’d be able to complete the sex offenders’ rehabilitation programme if he was sent to custody immediately.

He said: “Anyone who downloads indecent images or children is fuelling an abhorrent industry, which involves the physical and psychological abuse of young children often with lifelong consequences. That is why this kind of offending is serious.”

Prosecutor Stephen Dent told Swindon Crown Court that members of paedophile hunter group Innocence Project North West live streamed a citizens’ arrest at Boon’s then home in Salisbury in 2018.

The group’s male founder, posing as an underage girl, had spent eight days exchanging messages with Boon online. The sexually explicit messages concerned the group, although Boon claimed he was aware the “girl” with whom he was speaking was in fact a decoy account.

The visit from the vigilante group brought the defendant to the attention of the police. Officers seized 26 digital devices from his flat on which were found illegal images and videos. They included laptops, mobile phones and SD storage cards.

In total, he was charged with possession of 125 images and films in category A, 81 in category B, 191 in category C, four prohibited images and 77 extreme pornographic images and videos showing women having sex with animals.

The vile collection featured children estimated to be as young as 12 months. Analysis by digital forensics experts suggested Boon had started saving the images in 2006, Mr Dent said.