March 2010

LOUGHTON: Paedophile jailed

A PROFESSIONAL photographer has been jailed for possessing more than 600,000 indecent images of children.

Paul Elliott, 50, downloaded the pornographic images during a five year period between 2003 and June 2008 when he lived in Lawton Road, Loughton.

His case involved the largest ever seizure of indecent images by Essex Police in its history.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that pornographic images and movies of children – ranging from categories one to five, with the latter being the most explicit – were part of a six million haul seized by police during a search of the defendant’s home, now in Leighton Buzzard.

Mr Elliott appeared for sentencing this afternoon having pleaded guilty to ten counts of producing photographs or pseudo images of children.

Prosecutor Richard Stevens said files containing the indecent images were stored on the defendant’s computer and other equipment.

The father-of-two also took voluntary redundancy from a media outlet where he worked as a dark room technician after indecent images were found in his possession.

Judge David Turner QC described Mr Elliott’s behaviour as ‘sophisticated’ and ‘marshalled’.

He told the defendant: “In June 2008 when police came to your home and seized your computer and related equipment it bought to an end a period of five years during which you have immersed yourself in a simply appalling scene of child pornography.”

In pleas of mitgation, defence barrister Jamie Sawyer said his client suffered from obsessive compulsive Disorder, which explained the subdividing and filing of indecent material on his computer. He added that his client knew what he had done was wrong, and had voluntarily sought help from a child protection course to prevent him from reoffending.

Giving him credit for admissions during police interviews and an early guilty plea, the Judge handed Mr Elliott a 20 month sentence, of which he will serve half on licence.

Summing up, the Judge told the defendant: “It became an addictive dependance which has cost you your job, has put your family under strain, has embarassed and humiliated those neraest to you – your wife and two children – and has caused you a huge measure of shame and anxiety over the years.

“You have been waiting now for almost two years for this moment – it is a sad and tragic day for you.”

Mr Elliott, who has since moved to Stewkley Road in Leighton Buzzard, was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years and will be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for the same period of time.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Dave Acres, who led the investigation, said it was the biggest seizure Epping Police had dealt with.

He told the Guardian: “A custodial sentence was warranted. Looking at any indecent image of a child is never a pleasant thing to do. He has been in possession of all copine levels and has had both movies and images.”