November 2010

Grove man who collected child porn has sentence cut on appeal

A GROVE man who collected a child porn library including thousands of pictures of parents abusing their own babies has had his jail term cut.

Appeal court judges said the “excessive” four-and-a-half-year sentence handed to James Howell, 35, was longer than for those who abused children and cut it to three-and-a-half years.

July 2010

Paedophile’s horrific hoard of images shock police

A GROVE man who collected a sick library of child porn including thousands of pictures featuring parents abusing their own babies has been jailed for more than four years.

James Howell, of Oxford Lane, admitted a series of child pornography charges at Southwark Crown Court in London yesterday.

Police investigating the case said they had been left traumatised by pictures, which Howell distributed online to fellow paedophiles.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin told the 34-year-old: “I agree that you need help, but young children also need help, and they’re entitled to be protected from this sort of thing.”

Peter Zinner, prosecuting, told the court that the investigation of Howell’s crimes had a profound psychological effect on everyone involved.

He said: “The officers in the case, the forensic examiners and the prosecution team have found it a harrowing case, and one that will scar us for many years to come.”

The court was told officers raided Howell’s home on May 25 and seized his computers.

When the machines were examined, they were found to contain 25,836 photographs of child pornography, along with 1,316 video clips.

Mr Zinner told the judge: “What the police discovered was both shocking and depraved.

“I know your Lordship has dealt with many such cases, but in the Crown’s respectful submission, what sets this case apart and raises it to a higher level of criminality is that about 25 per cent of the images seized – that’s approximately 6,500 images and movies – depict babies or children under the age of two being subjected to serious sexual abuse at the hands of adults.”

“It follows that these acts must have been committed and photographed by the children’s parents or a parent, or people who were entrusted with the care of those children.

“The children showed clear evidence of extreme distress, and also in many examples there are clear examples of pain and suffering being sustained by the children.”

He said Howell was obsessive and described the collection as being “organised and indexed in a methodical manner”.

He said this allowed ease of access to individual images, both for Howell himself and for other paedophiles he sent them on to the Internet.

Howell admitted his guilt and gave police full access to his collection, which he said he had built up over a period of about 10 years.

He also told officers he had considered taking his own life.

Jennifer Gray, defending, said: “If anything stands out in this case, it’s Mr Howell’s ability to admit what he has done. It seems to be a weight off his shoulders.”

The judge sentenced Howell to four-and-a-half years in prison.

He told him: “The horror of the images in my view take this particular case outside the so-called guidelines. Plainly only a substantial sentence is appropriate.