January 2023

Sheffield pervert jailed over 30,886 indecent images and two ‘despicable’ paedophile manuals

A pervert that was caught with 30,886 indecent images of children and two paedophile manuals with guidance about avoiding capture has been jailed

Sheffield Crown Court heard on January 11 how Christopher Priestley, aged 52, of Brandreth Road, Upperthorpe, Sheffield, was caught ‘red-handed’ by police during a visit to his home where they found an open electronic device featuring a paedophilic site on a desk with a number of other screens.

David Webster, prosecuting, told the court police discovered over 3,000 indecent images of children on various devices and also found a programme and operating systems designed to allow internet browsing without detection including one programme that is used by the USA to secure top secret data.

But Mr Webster said: “The Crown say Mr Priestley was fairly determined to cover his tracks but not quite bright enough because as one sees one of the devices was open and effectively he was caught red-handed when police arrived.

Police recovered hundreds of category A indecent and category B images including still pictures and videos, as well as getting on for over 30,000 category C images as well as some category C videos. The court heard category A images are deemed to be the most serious.

Officers also found internet dialogue from a chatroom relating to two digital manuals explaining how to abuse children and avoid detection, according to Mr Webster, as well as a separate collection of material about getting caught and whether potential offenders should commit such 

Mr Webster added: “It was not just indecent material. An officer recovered a holdall from under a bed with plastic bags of female underwear arranged by ages two-to-three to teenage.”

Priestley, who has no previous convictions, was arrested in October, 2019, and later pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images relating to categories A, B and C and he also admitted two counts of possessing two paedophile manuals

The judge – Recorder David Gordon – stressed indecent images of children involve the appalling abuse of children and if there were no offenders like Priestley there would not be a market for such material.

Recorder Gordon said Priestley had used sophisticated software in an attempt to conceal his activity and to avoid detection and he described the paedophile manuals as ‘despicable’.

He told Priestley: “They are effectively guidance to you and others about exactly how to go about sexually abusing children and avoiding detection, what is the best sexual things to do with children of various ages, and how to go about it. Absolutely disgusting material.”

Recorder Gordon sentenced Priestley to 34 months of custody and the defendant who is subject to the Sex Offenders Register for an indefinite period was also made subject an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.