September 2002

200,000 reasons to jail child porn pervert

POLICE who arrested a man suspected of copying computer games stumbled across the biggest paedophile porn collection ever seen in the UK.

Officers thought Clive Cairns was making money selling copied games on the black market.

Instead, they uncovered a CD pervert who had spent years putting together a huge pornographic library of young boys.

When they seized his computer, hard drive and collection of 60 disks, they found Cairns had amassed more than 200,000 photographs of young boys being systematically abused.

Detective Constable Colin Gray, of the computer crime unit of Northumbria Police, said yesterday: “It is probably the largest collection in respect of one person.”

Robert Woodcock, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court how 44-year-old Cairns, of Durham Road, Sunderland, had collected hundreds of thousands of sick images from the Internet.

He told the court how officers arrived at Cairn’s home with a warrant to search the property for illegally copied games on January 18, last year.

Officers were left sickened by what they found.

Mr Woodcock said: “Every subject of the photography is a child and children who are quite obviously under the age of 16 and victims of an unlawful sexual act.”

James Adkin, defending, said Cairns had not hoarded the images for financial gain.

Sentencing Cairns, Judge David Wood said: “It is impossible to assess the number, but hundreds of thousands of photographs were seized and those young children and adults were exploited, degraded and damaged.

“This case is so serious, only custody can do it justice.”

Cairns pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possessing, making and downloading indecent photographs.

He was jailed for two years and put on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.