September 2006

‘Obsessed’ child porn man jailed

A PAEDOPHILE who built his own “super computer” to store one of the country’s biggest collections of child porn has been jailed for 15 months.

Robert ford, 59, a telecommunications engineer of Clewer Crescent, Harrow Weald, fitted his PC with two hard drives to hold 120,000 pictures and videos.

The collection took him five years to amass and it took police six weeks to work trough just a third of it.

Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court heard that the images showed children as young as three being sexually abused by adults, and more than 500 of them were classed as the highest level of obscenity.

Police raided the former sailor’s home after a tip-off by Italian authorities investigating a paedophile website he had accessed. Judge roger Chapple told Ford that the images he had collected showed children being subjected to the gratification of adults.

“Those who view these images create a demand for more of this material, meaning more children are involved in this despicable, evil trade.”

The sentence had to reflect public abhorrence and deter others getting involved.

He ordered Ford’s name to be added to the sex offenders’ register for ten years and banned him from ever working with children.

Ford’s licence period after parole was extended for three years while he attended a sex offending programme.

Prosecutor Peter Zinner said: “He has a clear obsession with child sex porn. He has pursued that obsession for a long time.”

Mr Zinner said Ford had used his professional expertise to build a “super computer” with a massive memory to store his enormous collections.

Police were able to categorise 46,045 indecent images of children from Ford’s computer.

“That is about a third of the total seizure,” he said.

“It took some six weeks to work through and the entire collection would amount to approximately three months’ work.

“There was a large amount of level- five material and we must bear in mind the level of abuse and severe suffering that children go through to produce this type of material.”

Following his arrest in September last year, Ford openly described his “hobby” and said his “sickness” started when he was 15 and he began to draw pictures of children in sexual poses.

He claimed it had developed from his being beaten as a child as a punishment for his homosexuality.

Richard Keogh, defending, said Ford had been given police protection from vigilante groups who had read of his offences in local newspapers.

“He is adamant that he would never cross the line from viewing to contact with any young person and that it is a sexual perversion that is kept in his front room, as it were,” Mr Keogh said.

Ford, who had no previous convictions, admitted 20 counts of making indecent photographs of children and seven of possessing images between January 1, 2000, and October 1 last year.

DC Trevor Brown of the Metropolitan police’s paedophile unit said: “It was certainly one of the largest collections of pornography the unit has been involved in.”