Pervert jailed after collecting thousands of child porn images showing children as young as three

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

A 55-year-old man who spent nine years collecting thousands of child abuse images has been jailed.

Some of the images showed children as young as three years in 'evident distress', Teesside Crown Court heard.

Christopher Marshall, who stored the photos and videos on his family's computer, lost his job and relationship following his arrest.

"Police received information an internet connection was being used to download indecent images," said Jenny Haigh. prosecuting.

"They executed a search warrant at the defendant's house, and seized three devices including a computer tower.

"Images were found on the computer."

Marshall had more than 3,900 illegal images, the court heard.

"There was 1,117 images at the most serious category A," added Ms Haigh.

"More than 1,200 at category B, and the rest at category C.

Some videos were found, including one which was 56 minutes long.

"Mr Marshall was frank with the police, he said he started downloading the material when broadband came along in 2009."

Marshall, of Stockton Road, Hartlepool, admitted three charges of possessing indecent images of children between 2009 and this year.

He was of previous good character.

Stephen Constantine, defending, said in mitigation: "Mr Marshall has lost everything, his job, and his relationship.

"That is his own fault, but he has been trying to get another job.

"He has taken steps to rehabilitate himself by contacting a charity which helps people in his position.

"This case passes the custody threshold, the only question is whether the sentence can be suspended."

Judge Howard Crowson jailed Marshall for 10 months.

The judge told him: "You were collecting this material over a significant period.

"It doesn't come to you, you have to search for it, and if you want to keep it., you have to deliberately store it.

"The material was stored on a computer used by your son, although I accept it was stored in such a way that only you could access it.

"Some of the children in the images were very young, and some were in evident distress.

"Every time someone such as you looks at these pictures the children are violated again."

Marshall was made the subject of an order restricting his computer use and contact with children for seven years.

He must register as a sex offender for seven years.

The computer was confiscated and will be destroyed.