May 2018

Paedophile dad’s sick words to his wife and police when he was caught with child abuse images

A father who was caught downloading and sharing the most appalling images of child abuse told his wife: “I’ve been a silly old fool. It’s life over.”

Nickolas Hall, 53, also told police he was “excited” by “looking at something that was wrong”.

Stephen Welch, prosecuting, told Hull Crown Court the images included a child aged between three and five “being held face down” and raped, and a girl aged between eight and ten being raped.

Jailing Hall for a year, Judge David Tremberg told him: “Not only do the original contact offences have a tendency to deprave, corrupt and cause both immediate pain and distress and long-term psychological harm to the victims, but also the presence of images of those abused on the internet, which the victim will never be able to control, is a source of deep and enduring distress.

“It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to realise how you would feel if one had been a victim of such gross abuse to know that somewhere across the world, somebody was [performing a sex act] to an image of you being abused as a child.”

Hall, a father-of-two from Harland Road, Elloughton, was caught after the National Crime Agency received information on June 25 last year about a user uploading a category C indecent image of a child on the messenger platform “KIK”. This had come from “LS“, which was known to contain category C images.

This led police to an email address used by Hall, and then to his home address, which police visited a month later and arrested him on suspicion of possessing and distributing indecent images of children. He later admitted three possession charges and three of distribution.

Mr Welch said the possession offences related to two category A – the most extreme – four category B images, and 54 at category C. Hall had distributed nine category A images, four category B images, and nine rated category C.

Explaining his arrest to his wife, Hall said: “It’s porn, that porn. I’ve been a silly old fool. It’s life over. It just is. That’s it. Life over.”

After initially giving a “no comment” interview, Hall made “full and frank admissions”. Asked if he had searched for indecent images of under-18s, Hall said: “Yes, that.” “You were asking for images of children?” an officer asked. “Yes,” said Hall.

Hall, who had been viewing the material for a year, cried in the dock as his advocate, Paul Norton, spoke of a letter written to the court by his wife, which he said “bears eloquent testimony to his qualities as a husband and father”.

Hall was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years, and must register as a sex offender for the same period.