October 2021

Paedophile used unsuspecting neighbour’s Wifi to download 30,000 videos and images of children

A man found with more than 30,000 videos of children being sexually abused or exploited has been jailed.

Christopher Meade, 39, from Burnley was sentenced to three years imprisonment after police found thousands of images and videos involving children being sexually abused.

Preston Crown Court heard today that the defendant was discovered after the police traced the address of a neighbour living opposite to Meade.

On June 20 2019, police officers arrived at Spencer Street in Burnley and were greeted by a man who denied any involvement in the allegations made.

When investigating further, officers asked the individual if anyone other than himself had access to his internet which led to the discovery of the defendant.

The court heard that Meade had admitted to using a router and had access to the internet of the house opposite.

After getting access into the property from the defendant, officers explained the nature of their investigation which was when “the defendant became evasive” to which he then said he wished to speak to his solicitor.

Meade confirmed he had a computer in his bedroom but refused to provide a password which resulted in him being arrested and taken to the police station.

During the search of a USB and desktop, 30,265 videos were discovered of which 530 category A (most serious) were found and 1015 category B were found.

A further 28,720 category C images were found along with 65 extreme pornographic images, involving animals.

Officers who examined the content identified children aged between seven-nine, eight-10 and 10-12.

The court heard that the defendant had collated all of the indecent images and videos over a span of seven year from November 2012 to June 2019.

Passing sentencing, Judge Simon Medland QC recapped the number of images and videos that were discovered during the search.

He said: “These are real children who are really being abused by other people and it often stays with them for the rest of their lives.

“You showed little remorse and liability and denied sexual attraction to children which I completely reject.

“I have considered the reports in the case. The seriousness of this case greatly outweighs the mitigation. My public duty is clear to me – you must go to prison.”

The judge handed Meade a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and made him subject to notification requirements for life.