April 2012

Child porn addict amassed 250,000 pictures after getting hooked on ‘base and evil’ images as a schoolboy, aged 15

A child porn addict who began looking at indecent images when he was just 15 amassed almost a quarter of a million pictures by the time his ‘base’ addiction was uncovered.

Daniel Hylands, 27, began looking at indecent pictures of children online while he was still a schoolboy and was caught 12 years later when police raided his Merseyside home.

He was tracked down after he used a credit card to pay a sophisticated system allowing access to more than 200 websites containing sick images of children.

Experts who analysed Hylands’s computer tower after it was seized in May 2010 found 228,681 images of abused children, said prosecutor Paul Blasbery.

The vast majority were in the least serious category but there were some in all five classifications, including 154 in the two most serious groups.

When interviewed, store manager Hylands admitted he had started viewing such images when he was 15, but he initially claimed he had wanted to identify those looking at them so he could expose them to the authorities.

Hylands, now of Southport, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to 17 offences of downloading child porn images covering a four-year period.

Judge John Phipps said: ‘The internet, which could be of so much benefit to all, has a tendency to be hijacked by those who pander to the base, unacceptable and evil for profit, in particular this kind of filth.

‘Each of these images – and there is a massive number in this case – is an image of an abused, exploited child.’

Judge Phipps said Hylands was an intelligent young man still held in high regard by his employers and being supported by his devastated parents.

‘The support from your family is not unthinking and not unqualified,’ he pointed out.

The judge said he accepted Hylands was now genuinely remorseful and that if he jailed him it would be for a relatively short time and he would not receive the help he needs to deal with ‘his unhealthy obsession.’

Judge Phipps added: ‘Of course you deserve to be punished. On the other hand I have to consider whether this kind of behaviour to which you had become addicted can be prevented from reoccurring in the future.’

He made a three-year supervision order and ordered him to attend the intensive Northumbria Sex Offenders programme

He also ordered Hylands to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years, made an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order restricting his internet access and confiscated his computer equipment.

The Daily Mail’s campaign is supported by figures that show 15,000 youngsters have been expelled or suspended from school for sex offences against fellow pupils and teachers in the last five years.

More than 1,100 were primary school children, with some as young as four. Offences included sexual abuse, assault, harassment, and lewd behaviour.

A study by the London School of Economics found that parents have little idea what their children are looking at, with more than two thirds of parents whose children had looked at adult content saying they were were certain their child had not, or that they did not know.

Middle-class children were more likely to access porn online than those from poorer backgrounds, because they were more likely to have computers in their own rooms.