250k indecent images kept by Callington paedophile
A CALLINGTON man who had a quarter of a million indecent images of children as young as 5 on his computer has been jailed.
Michael Johns, 52, admitted 25 counts of making and distributing indecent images of children and of possessing extreme pornographic images.
In total the charges related to more than 10,000 images on dates between July 2009 and October 2012 but police said the true extent of Johns' collection ran to hundreds of thousands of images.
At Truro Crown Court on Friday, Iain White, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said police were alerted to Johns because of a website he had used to upload indecent images, which was traced back to his internet protocol (IP) address in Callington.
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Officers went to Johns' home on St Germans Road on October 20, 2012, and seized his computer equipment.
"He made a number of detailed admissions … he accepted that he was addicted [that he had] looked at thousands of images of children and masturbated to them."
Mr White said when the computer equipment was examined, officers found more than 10,000 "live" images – ones that had not been deleted – which is the material referred to in the charges.
They also found approximately 250,000 images, which had been deleted.
A significant number of the live images were at the higher end of the scale used to categorise indecent images; including 1,919 at level four and 186 at level five.
He was charged with 15 counts of making images of children, three counts of possessing prohibited images of children and four counts of distributing indecent images of children.
He also admitted three counts of possessing extreme pornographic images showing a person performing a sex act or having intercourse with an animal.
Nigel Hall, for the defence, said prior to the offences, Johns was struggling with his employment and his home situation.
"Since arrest his life has collapsed," said Mr Hall. "When he attended magistrates' court he made an attempt on his own life."
Judge John Neligan said: "You downloaded a significant number of such images ranging between levels one to five for your admitted personal sexual gratification but what is more serious is that you distributed indecent photographs of children as young as 5 – following what has sadly become a pattern in such cases, which is that an initial interest in adult pornography progresses to an interest in more extreme pornography, and in your case child pornography."
Judge Neligan sentenced Johns to two years' imprisonment and ordered he be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for eight years.
He also ordered Johns' computer equipment and hard drives be destroyed. John must also sign the sex offenders register for ten years.