A Basingstoke man has been held after he was found to possess over 1,78,000 child abuse images depicting sexual activity that included photos of toddlers and newborn babies, as a court has heard. The accused has been identified as a 39-year-old man named Keith Sayer who had collected a pile of child abuse images and stored them in 19 devices, hard drives and USB sticks. All of the imageries were stored in a “deliberate and systematic” filing system that had caused uncountable harm to the newborn babies and children all across the globe.
The court has come to know that his collection of child abuse images started soon after his release from the jail. Earlier he was behind the bars after he was found to have in possession of the indecent child images. Back in 2014, he was sentenced to 16 months of imprisonment. The accused had admitted that he was “obsessed and sick” and had informed a psychiatrist that he was spending five hours in a day gazing at the indecent images and movies of the children.
The accused, Sayer, was an ex-resident of Bolton Cresent in South Ham. He possessed six paedophile manuals along with masking tape, cable ties, children’s colouring sets, bungee ties and an article cut-out of a newspaper that involved the abduction of a child. All of these were discovered in a raid at his bedsit, as the prosecutor Sophie Chaplain stated the Winchester Crown Court.
Initially, the cops were tipped off to an individual accessing the indecent child abuse images back in April 2019, and that is when they detected two IP addresses continuously searching for the child pornographic images. The cops then traced the IP addresses that took them to Sayer. When the property of the accused was searched, he had pointed towards a cupboard under a sink where he purportedly hid the devices. When he was caught the very first time, he was banned from using those devices under a Sex Offenders Protection Order (SOPO) issued then.
On searching the seized devices, the cops had found a “systematic and deliberate” filing system of the obscene child abuse images and videos that consisted of over 10,000 images belonging to Category A. As stated by the Sentencing Council, the offences in Category A include “penetrative activity” along with the activities that revolve around an animal or sadism.
Ms Chaplain has furthermore informed the court that he had acquired over 1,000 movies of children and stored in his stockpile.
It was also stated that the accused who had appeared through a video link from the Lewes prison of East Sussex had used the Tor browser that permits the users to access the dark web and conceal their identity. In the mitigation, the accused was said to have had nothing more to do except search for and look at the child abuse images.
“He has never had a job, he had no ambition for himself,” defence counsel Rose Burns told the court.
“He doesn’t have any intimate relationships with anyone and never has. He doesn’t have social interaction and says it is not something he was able to have.”
Ms Chaplain has referred to the accused’s addiction to these child abuse images as an “illness or a disease”, which is similar to the “addiction” of any other thing.
Applying for a community order so that Sayer can be given treatment, she said that a prison sentence was not benefitting the public nor him, adding: “It is the only way that this man is going to be diverted from his compulsive addiction.”
Nevertheless, Recorder Adam Feest has decided that he would sentence the accused a longer prison term than the guidelines would suggest adding:
“It is sometimes said that people who view images of child abuse don’t cause harm to children, but that is incorrect.
“Anyone who has images of children being raped is creating a market for those type of images and that market harms children across the world.
Where someone has this quantity of images involving the rape of babies and other children the harm that has been caused is impossible for me to measure.”
The accused Sayer had been sentenced to 32 months (2 years and eight months) in prison and held for six charges of producing indecent child imagery (discounted for the early pleas) along with two more years on account of breaching SOPO and has asked the accused to serve the terms consecutively.
Apart from this, he was provided with a six-month custodial sentence on account of possessing six paedophile manuals. This term also needs to be served consecutively and results in the total prison sentence of three years and two months (38 months in total). Although, Recorder Feest has admitted that the accused is likely to serve only half of the sentence. He has ordered an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order, destruction of the child abuse images and manuals and an auto disqualification from working with the children and forfeiture. Additionally, the accused was ordered to pay a “victim surcharge”.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Behind these images are often children who have been subjected to unthinkable pain and suffering.”
“By continually seeking out horrific quantities of this sickening material Sayer has helped to leave a trail of devastation by fuelling demand for more children to be abused.”
“Big tech companies need to ensure that they work with law enforcement to remove this terrible content as soon as it appears and identify who put it there in the first place.”
Source: Romsey Advertiser
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