March 2010

Worcester Park sex shop owner jailed for child porn stash

A sex shop owner who hoarded thousands of indecent images of children in a safety deposit box has been jailed for 15 months.

Michael Geraghty, of Oaks Avenue, Worcester Park, appeared at Southwark Crown Court last Thursday to be sentenced for 12 counts of possession and making of child pornography.

The 50-year-old was traced after hundreds of officers swooped on safety deposit centres across west London as part of a Metropolitan Policeoperation, codenamed Rize.

Safety deposit boxes in Park Lane, later linked to Geraghty, were found containing more than 21,000 indecent pictures and more than 50 films involving children.

The CDs inside the boxes had dozens of movies featuring young children – both male and female as young as three.

An investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Paedophile Unit led officers to Geraghty, a company director of sex shop Fettered Pleasure, in Islington, north London.

Subsequent raids were made at his Worcester Park home where 200 more indecent images were found on a computer.

In addition to his jail sentence, Geraghty, who pleaded guilty on January 22, will also be placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Detective Constable David Ball, for the Metropolitan Police’s Paedophile Unit, said: “Geraghty made and possessed indecent photographs and videos of children.

“His activities by storing such material in a safety deposit box demonstrates his clear intent to hide his sexual interest in children.

“This investigation sends a clear message that the Metropolitan Police are determined to bring to justice those persons who seek to sexually abuse children or possess such material.”

Crown prosecutor Peter Zinner said: “Bearing in mind the difficulties of tracing ownership, the officer undertook an outstanding investigation, and managed to trace the ownership to the defendant Michael Geraghty through forensic examination of the exhibits.”

Geraghty was sentenced to nine months in jail for each of the possession charges and 15 months for each count of making indecent images – the sentences will run concurrently.